Desperation Six [Crit] [Sci-Fi]

Well, first off, welcome back to creative writing!

Now, for your piece... it's very short. Nevertheless, it's interesting. You start us off in a crazy action sequence, and you give us enough hints to paint the background, without bogging us down in the details. Overall, a fun read.

I think you lose some steam as the piece goes on though. What seemed clear at first -- that Desperation Six is the offcraft -- gets muddy as things go on. Having read it, I'm no longer 100% sure on this.

Some specific observations:

The heat of the inferno was the first thing Desperation Six ever knew.

I like this opening. It's weird. We get a protagonist with a bizarre name, and we place her (him?) in an inferno. (A volcano, maybe? Don't know yet.) Anyway, it's interesting enough to keep me reading.

Just seconds ago the sea of boiling bodmer gas that surrounded the offcraft had been the upper atmosphere of a planet.

Still interesting. This seems to be setting this up to be some kind of sci-fi or fantasy, what with "bodmer" and "offcraft," and something happening to a planet.

A populated world, highly advanced. And now it was all gone. The entire civilisation had been sublimated before anyone had realised what was happening.

Not bad, considering it's talking about some planet instead of Desperation Six from your awesome intro, but I think the short sentences hurt here. Might even scrap the last sentence altogether. Yes, on the one hand it adds some emotional bang to the planet vanishing (being destroyed?) but on the other hand, right now I care only about Desperation Six -- the subject of your opening -- and this is not a detail she (it?) was aware of (given that the only thing Desperation Six knew so far was "the heat of the inferno.")

The second thing Desperation Six knew ... electromagnetic radiation.

Interesting. Okay, so now we have some idea what Desperation Six is -- a space craft -- and also some idea of the setting. Sci-fi, probably, and some sort of exodus from a planet. It sounds like your craft is alive though -- maybe an AI or maybe something else, too early to tell -- but that's interesting all the same.

And deep within Desperation Six an oracle responded to the cry for help.

I like that. Oracle is a weird word, something we all know but not something we come across every day. It adds a bit of mysticism to the piece, and goes hand in hand with the living machinery image from above.

Information made itself known and mixed with the offcraft's thoughts.

Yuck. Cut this shit. "Information made itself known." What does that mean? How does information do anything? With its arms? Information just is. Who made it known -- that's interesting. I mean, I can guess the "oracle" made the information known -- and right now, I'm assuming the oracle is some kind of pilot -- but the way it's written with the passive voice sounds weak. Tell us specifically what's happening, and who made it happen. Or, if Desperation Six doesn't know where the information came from, tell us how she (it?) perceives this sudden onrush of info.

Its was Desperation Six.

No, I don't understand this. Typo aside (I'm guessing that was supposed to be "It" and not "Its") I still can't place this. What was Desperation Six? The influx of information? I thought Desperation Six was the offcraft, but this makes it sound like the offcraft, Desperation Six, and the oracle, are all separate entities. If this is what you had in mind, it's not clear.

The transmitters cut out as understanding dawned.

This too is muddy. Right now, I'm still operating on the assumption that Desperation Six is the offcraft. So, understanding dawned on Desperation Six? Also, what cut the transmitters? And how did the understanding dawn? Because there was no response?

I hope that helps, and I look forward to seeing the rest of this.

/r/KeepWriting Thread