Friday, 27 May 2011

Power Of Tension Blogfest: Cosmic Seed Trilogy


There is no Friday Five today, as I'm taking part in a blogfest. The Power Of Tension Blogfest, hosted by Rachel Morgan and Cally Jackson, asks you to 'Give an excerpt (up to 300 words) from your manuscript or recently completed work (or just a random scene) that just drips with tension and will tie us up in knots wanting to know more. It doesn’t matter what the piece is about, as long as it screams tension.'

The blogfest runs from the 23rd to 27th May and also includes a chance to win one of three awesome prizes, two of which include a 1st Chapter beta read. To read other entries and/or sign up, click here.

Whilst continuing to write my science fiction WIP, Dreaming of Sleep, I've been making notes for a science fiction trilogy set on the alien worlds of Velika and Vita. The following is a first draft extract from the first book in the trilogy, Cosmic Seed:


“We have a problem, Professor.”

Kaylan looked up to see Captain Talcada, the only male officer serving aboard the Baylaa, clutching a red report. Red meant only one thing – mission abort.

Kaylan sighed. She’d hoped that Bria would not let her, and her people, down. “What happened this time?”

“She's joined the others.”

“Again?”

“Yes.”

“And she didn’t take the termination pill?”

“No.”

“I'm beginning to think this will never work.”

“We should be terminating them ourselves, Professor. As long as we leave Velikians on the planet, they will continue to work against us.”

“No. They have a right to life, no matter what that life might be. And without the means to leave Vita, how can they threaten the outcome of the mission?”

“It's not about the threat; it's about the numbers. We have gathered only a quarter of seed stocks needed, and already gone three months over schedule. My crew and I want to go home, and soon.”

“So, this is about your discomfort. Their lives are irrelevant?”

The Captain leaned forward and pointed the report accusingly in her direction. “This is about doing what is right for Velika. I too grieve for those who will be lost in the process, but neither of us can afford to become emotionally involved no matter who the candidates are.”

Kaylan stared at the Captain, who, like others of his sex, had been forced to push aside any thoughts of procreation and allow alien DNA to re-populate his species, and wondered if he really understood just how important Bria was.

“The day may arrive when those left behind will need to be eliminated to ensure Velika's survival but we haven’t reached that point. Not yet.”

“Well, we will just have to see what the Council have to say about it. Won't we?"

300 words.

Thank you to Rachel and Cally for hosting this awesome blogfest. As always, I'd love to know what you think of it, good or bad.

47 comments:

  1. I'm intrigued by the repopulation topic and the importance of Bria. I definitely would like to know more about what's going on. If I may make a comment about the excerpt, I had trouble determining who was speaking without any dialogue tags and/or character actions. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. ooo, nice! More, please! :o) <3

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  3. Nice one Ellie! And you managed to tempt me into breaking from my blogging holiday as well.

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  4. Very nice bit of tension there. Looking forward to see more :) I too am intrigued about why usual procreation has been discarded in favour of a different method of repopulation.

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  5. Terrific scene makes me curious what all is going on.

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  6. Laura - thank you for the positive comments and feedback. It was really difficult keeping the extract under 300 words, and I had to take out a few speech attributes/actions. They will be there in the novel.

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  7. My fav and the most powerful line in this piece I think is: “The day may arrive when those left behind will need to be eliminated to ensure Velika's survival but we haven’t reached that point. Not yet.” Wow! :O)

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  8. You've created tension alright but not just with the excerpt. There seems to be so much at stake, the inability for certain races to procreate, the need for Bria....my goodness! I'd love to read more.

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  9. Hide Bria hide!! Oh dear!! I am so intrigued! Gosh, so much going on here - the makings of a mega epic!! Yay for you!! Take care
    x

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  10. An interesting situation, and some nice glimmers of tension between the two characters.

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  11. I like the premise, and the conflict between the two raises the levels of tension. Good job!

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  12. I like the premise as well, and the dialogue did provide tension. I like how everything wasn't explained through the dialogue, but we start to get the picture of what is going on.

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  13. Great extract! The 'termination pill' is intriguing, as are the characters. :)

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  14. You got me so curious now and the tension between the characters was well played. Dangling on the edge of my seat to learn more.

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  15. You've really intrigued me with your WiP's world. The tension between the Professor and the Captain is truly intense!

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  16. You have me hooked and intrigued in a big way.
    "Allow Alien DNA to re-populate his species" sounds really cool."
    Its great, Ellie.

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  17. I'm intrigued by the alien DNA and why the men have had to put aside thoughts of procreation. It is known that human sperm counts are falling . . .

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  18. So much going on there. I certainly felt the tension between the two characters. Nice!

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  19. Interesting. Is it intentional that Vita means "life" in Latin and Italian and that Bria is like Brio which means "vivacity, verve" in Italian (but if used as a feminine name it would get a feminine ending)? Thus you have Vivacity joining Life.

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  20. This is very intriguing and the interaction between the characters is tense. I have so many questions about this world and why they need alien DNA. I'd definitely keep reading on to find out the answers. Great scene! :D

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  21. Just a thought -- intellectual tension is good, but visceral tension is better. I appreciate philosophical questions about ethics and values, but more immediate threats to life and limb are always going to trump it.

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  22. well i want to know more about these crazy non physical, sympathetic aliens!
    what are they going to do!

    wish i had seen this yesterday, would have liked to do it. probably do it for fun anyway =)

    have a nice wknd!

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  23. Very interesting. A great piece of writing in so little words.

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  24. Jabblog - the falling human sperm count was part of my thinking behind the first book in the trilogy. On Earth we can use donated sperm. But what if there was none at all? How far would we go to ensure the continuation of our species? Though humanoid, Velikians don't procreate in quite the same way as we do, though.

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  25. Sarah McCabe - Yes. Most of the names of my characters, and both planetary names, were chosen for their meaning (though I had to like them as well). You are spot on with Vita and Bria. Talcada I made up, though.

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  26. L - you make a valid point. There will be plenty of life and limb moments in the novel!

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  27. Very interesting. The DNA thing is intriguing. And I love the sentence: “The day may arrive when those left behind will need to be eliminated to ensure Velika's survival but we haven’t reached that point. Not yet.”!

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  28. Race annihilation is good. =) Nice job communicating all that info through dialog!

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  29. I'm interested in the alien DNA repopulation. That sounds like it could be a great source of a complicated conflict. Good luck!

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  30. Sounds like there's a lot going on with this, particularly the whole alien DNA thing. I'm curious about who this Bria is, and why she's so important. Great tension :)

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  31. I, too, want to know why Bria is so important! And I really like the names you used, too. What a fun blogfest!

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  32. Plenty of tension here! Great job:)

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  33. Okay, so I loved it. I was into it and then this happened "Kaylan stared at the Captain, who, like others of his sex, had been forced to push aside any thoughts of procreation and allow alien DNA to re-populate his species" - and then I was hooked. I want to know more about that world.

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  34. I really enjoyed this. Great job!

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  35. Yay! It's so nice to find more Sci fi writers. I really enjoyed this. There are lots of questions that would keep me reading to find the answers.

    Mostly I'm curious about your world and how it functions. I love this kind of stuff!

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  36. So interesting...I like that she joined the others "again" and she didn't take the termination pill. This certainly does raise a lot of questions that I'd read on to get the answers to. Well done!

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  37. Ah, the battle between people deciding who should live and who should die. I have that same concept in my current WIP. Its fun to develop this and gives the hero one more opportunity to save the day.

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  38. You're limited because of the word restrictions in the blogfest, but I'd like to see more physical clues to the emotional tension. Even a bit of introspection will round it out nicely.

    Was that some of what you left out to make it fit?

    In the real draft, reveal Kaylan's growing frustration and perhaps hint at the captain's imperiousness. Maybe the captain squares his shoulders. Maybe Kaylan bites her lip to keep from saying what she really wants. Maybe she breaks a pen or other implement out of aggravation.

    I adore this kind of premise. It has the seeds (pardon the pun) to be epic. In the same span, you've also got to scale it down to the intimate relationship level, which I think you are foretelling here.

    Hope that's helpful.

    PS You left out 'to' in: “...As long as we leave Velikians on the planet, they will continue -- work against us.”

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  39. Wowee - you packed such a lot of intriguing info into this short excerpt! Great job. I'd definitely want to read on and find out what the Council has to say ;)

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  40. I want to see what the Council says! More!

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  41. Sounds fascinating! Intriguing concept and who Bria and why is she important. Excellent excerpt.

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  42. Well done for getting all that information into 300 words!
    Thanks for entering :-)

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  43. This was really intriguing and well written. I'd read more to find out about this unique world and the challenges they are discussing. Great excerpt!

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  44. I'm with Rachel - good job with getting all of that into such a short entry. I'm definitely dying to know what happens next! :-)

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  45. Very intriguing! I definitely want to know what happens next!

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