Echo, a Dystopian Science Fiction Novel: Chapter 1

I’ve been talking it up for a while now. Here’s Echo, chapter 1:

Author’s notes: Instead of opening with a focus on the fantastical setting, I’ve decided to go with the base of the character. Chapter 1 shows the world of the protagonist and how he is beginning to become out of sync with it. I’ve also thrown in allegory (the mountain, the plateau, the rucks, the beating), some foreshadowing (the lookalike). With all this, I thought that opening with the sci-fi setting would be too much on top of that. Aside from brief mentions of the Dissidents and a holographic wrist device, there’s not much. There’s more “icing” in chapters 2 and 3.

Apologies for stilted language and any hitches that fall short in evoking emotion or imagery. As much as I harp on about structure, in fiction I believe structure should serve the emotional punch of the story, not vice versa. This is my first serious foray into writing fiction. It’s vastly different than the logically constructed argument of an essay, so I apologize if any wording falls short. I have had to learn where to break from traditional grammar and structure in order to purify the imagery and emotional evocation of wording rather than the academic integrity of it. Thanks for all you guys’ interest! I wish you inspired drafting and insightful editing!

18 thoughts on “Echo, a Dystopian Science Fiction Novel: Chapter 1

  1. I looked around your blog a little bit yesterday (great stuff BTW) and found the page where you talk about your experience in the army. You mention how the normal portrayal is too single shaded, too black-and-white. I just read chapt 1 and the notes, and found that the portrayal of the crew is also very dark, single shaded hell of a place, with no redeeming ideals and values. Did you do that do demonstrate the dystopian aspect of the story or is there another reason?

    Liked by 2 people

    • No you hit the nail on the head. The Crew is an extremely one-sided portrayal of elite warriors. While people like this exist within those communities, there are many that are also the exact opposite. But yes, because it’s a dark age in Echo, that’s how the majority of them there will be.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I found your sentence structure and flow very good. Your mix of simple, compound, and complex sentences keep your reading fast and tight. Very short sentences give the reader a chance to catch his breath, as well as adding strong emphasis. I am impressed with your writing ability and the ability to keep your readers engaged. Now, on to chapter two…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very good writing! I feel compelled to check out bloggers who read my stuff and usually I find very poor writing with bad grammar, spelling, agreement of subject and object, etc. Not here, very crisp, good choices of sentence length, complexity. Pretty grim world but I want to know more. Now I have to read chapter 2!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank You! My god, you should read my first drafts! I think all that stuff is a matter of editing, but when I go back and read it, there’s little things that still bother me. My criteria is that when I can finally read it without huge things hitching in my brain, it’s starting to get ready for release.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi. I am impressed. A finely written Chapter 1 … the character believable and immediately familiar. I’ll be reading the rest. I really like the idea of author’s notes. Gives a little of the writing process. Jane

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank You Jane!! I’m actually a little embarrassed when I go back and read my earlier stuff; there’s a lotta “flow” mistakes I’m currently hoping to suss out with my editor (I know that’s a humble brag, but it’s the truth—I wince when I go back and read those early attempts at fiction by me)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I visited your site following a like you gave one of my essays. The first thing I did was read your “About the Author” piece and really took to interest what you had to say about your experience in the military. I served in the military also and you shed light on a side of the “service” that I forgot about. Social media does a good job of projecting this image you wrote on and portraying military as “badass” all the time. While reading Chapter 1, it reminded me of being a trainee and how “hard” the guys were or had to be. almost to try and out act one another.
    In regards to your writing style, I like the set up in Chapter 1 and feel you did good setting up the story. I also like your authors notes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey thanks Andrew! Apologies for all the swearing (I actually encountered more when I served) and the noobie roughness; hopefully, both get a bit better in my later works, where I’ve matured a bit as a writer. Yeah, the military is simply a reflection of human nature in a specific context, like all things. The “badass” portrayal becomes counterproductive if it ever eclipses that basic truth. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Kent,
    Yes that was a real good first chapter. No apologies needed for “stilted language” either. You stretch your reader a bit—that’s exactly what most of them want. Have you tried going through (excuse the profanity) “agents” to get published Kent? I’m wrestling with that right now. My “Morning Frigate” blog is just my attempt at a platform actually. I have a detective novel completed and a children’s. Agent:”not what I’m craving.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I looked up the agent publishing process and decided they deserve too much profanity to try, LOL. Maybe later…after I’ve gotten a little more leverage through some recognition.


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