Monday, May 13, 2013


I'm joining the It's all in the voice blog hop. Here is the first page of my unfinished novel DEAR KATHERINE, a science fiction/women's fiction hybrid. (Thanks for the comments, revisions are in blue
Update: This won Honorable Mention :)

Chapter 1--Millanos

My life began the day I left school turned eighteen and fell off a planet for the first time. Up until then I left school, I hadn't lived started living--I had just existed.

By the time I landed on Millanos, I was thirty two. I had fallen on and off most of the colonized planets in the Tetracoil Galaxy. But even after fourteen years, I still felt exhilarated every time the synchrotron powered down and gravity took hold of the spacecraft. The adrenalin rush from those seven minutes of free-fall, not knowing if the hovering jets would engage in time, lasted me days.

My heart was still racing when the hatch opened and fresh air rushed into the dehydrated passenger cabin. I smelled brine in the air--my first greeting from Millanos. I unfastened the straps holding me to the seat and stretched my back. Through the internal passageway, I could see the three pilots moving around the cockpit. One of these days, I would learn to fly just to be able to ride in the front seats. But first I had nine more planets to visit and Millanos was just a few steps away.

I collected the single duffle that contained all my possessions and shouted a “thank you” toward the cockpit. I had paid them in advance, so there was no point in disturbing their crosscheck protocol. And after six and a half hours in the confined cabin, I was more than ready to be outside. That wormhole was a long one.


  1. Like this - and the little changes you've made :)

  2. As a non-sci-fi reader I won't comment on voice or set-up but I will say that one thing confused me (and it could just be the pre-caffeine reading hour): The first line says her life started at 18 so I had it in my head that she was 18, even though I then saw she'd had 14 years of planet-jumping. After I'd read through once, I went back and put together that she's 32. Not sure if this is a 'me' problem or, if making dummies do math right off the bat is hard for others... maybe this is why I don't read sci-fi - it requires more focus than I seem to have!

  3. First off, I love the genre. I've never thought of combining women's fiction with science fiction. Maybe add some more sensory details of what the atmosphere is like in the cabin...warm, stuffy, cold? I'm sure this is just me, but when I read the planet's name I immediately thought of Milan, Italy. Not sure what the planet will really be like, but my mind is turning it into Italy. :) Overall, a very nice beginning.

  4. I agree with Donna about the age issue--make sure it's very clear what age the protag is. I thought we were reading YA until I reread it a second time.

    And I agree with Janel in terms of the Milannos thing. Briney air? Did you intend that? Should we get images of a watery planet? Just be sure you're sending the right signals to your readers. :) The name is great if that's what you want to imply.

    Based on both of your samples, you're a strong writer! I like the idea of sci-fi women's fiction. That's really interesting. Good luck with this.

  5. I like that more sci-fi is having female MCs :)

    The line: I hadn't started living...
    strikes me as odd. Perhaps it would be better to say she hadn't been living, just existing.

    We get that she's a bit of an adrenaline junkie and a traveler.

    While the writing is good and I'm interested, I'm not sure there is enough going on to really pull people in. Perhaps by describing the thrilling heart racing drop as the opening (some action, the reader will be curious as to what's going on. Is the MC dying already?! Why are they in danger? etc) & then going back to explain what's going on might better hook folks. Just a thought.

  6. I'm curious if the main character is just a space bum or has a deeper purpose in mind.

    Is the term "hover jets" more applicable than "hovering jets?" Or, actually, were you seeking the term retrorockets?

  7. Whoa! Six and a half years in the cabin? Yikes! I want to know why she has to travel to all those planets, and why the crew braves such risky landings each time if there is a chance at fatality. You are very creative and there's good flow once you hit your stride, but I'd love to see more of the conflict up front. (but maybe that's just me, I'm a conflict/disaster junkie) :P This was an intriguing read.

  8. You've created an interesting concept of falling on and off planets. You may want to play that up as your opening line rather than the "My life began...", which immediately makes me think I'm reading an autobiography.

    Perhaps something like "I prefer falling on rather than falling off planets. I should know. I've done it seven times already."

    Also, I wasn't quite sure what you meant by wormhole. Were you referencing the internal passageway?

  9. I like this story and would've read on. Also totally get the wormhole but wonder if yours are man made or natural? Just curious...:)

    1. They're spontaneous and unstable. That's where the space travel technology comes in :)