Laura's Child Chapter 1

This is fiction and obviously none of it would be possible in real life, so keep that in mind when critiquing…otherwise I do welcome criticism and would like to work on improving my story.


It was a sunny Monday morning, but the nice weather didn't stop everything from going wrong. Laura found a hole in her favorite sweater, the cook had overdone the eggs for breakfast, and her hair wouldn't cooperate with her. Laura had a doctor's appointment in the morning before she could head to work, and she ended up staying in the waiting room for an hour before she was seen. Leaving, she hit every red light on the road to the lab. The security guard was new and gave her a hassle for having a different haircut than the picture on her I.D. 

When she finally made it into the lab, she could tell immediately that there was something serious going on. Arthur didn't even notice her walk in. He was surrounded by the other five people in the lab, and they were deep in discussion. "No, wait," Laura thought to herself. There were only four of the lab workers with Arthur. 

She wondered where Emily was, and jumped out of her skin when Marc, one of the workers, said, "We should find something lethal and inject her with it. She deserves to die!"

"Guys, what exactly is going on?!" she demanded, walking up and standing next to Arthur, who looked worried and upset. 

"We caught Emily sending information to someone in Iran on her computer, and when we confronted her she was defiant about it and rather hysterical, screaming something about infidels. She was rather violent, but we managed to subdue her. Currently we have her locked in an isolation room." There was an angry muttering from Marc and the other three lab technicians at Arthur's words. Before Laura could say anything, Amy, one of the techs, spoke up. 

"We can't kill her, that would be murder, obviously…" Amy paused. "But, we can use her for a guinea pig in the new studies we've been doing…you know, if our research is correct and Emily turns out how we think she's going to, we could actually use it on terrorists we capture. Arthur, you have enough high-level clearance that we can pull this off." 

Marc grinned suddenly. "She should be conscious the whole time."

"Absolutely not!" Arthur and Laura said at the same time. "It will be punishment enough for her when she wakes up," Arthur said. "And it's easier to work on a subject who isn't going to fight back," Laura added. Arthur told everyone to start preparing, and as they left the room to do one task or another, he quietly told Laura, "This could be your chance." Only Laura knew what he meant, and it came completely out of the blue…she'd never thought about this angle. She was suddenly glad she'd vetoed having Emily be awake for the procedures.

Re: Laura’s Child Chapter 1

The Prologue was a good lead in. I didn’t read through it again, only because I wanted to give some constructive criticism on this one first.

The first thing I would recommend is separating your dialogue. It makes it so much easier to figure out who’s speaking. Only one person’s thoughts, or speech should be in a paragraph.

Also, a paragraph should break when the focus changes. A good example of what I’m talking about is:

As you have it now:

It was a sunny Monday morning, but the nice weather didn’t stop everything from going wrong. Laura found a hole in her favorite sweater, the cook had overdone the eggs for breakfast, and her hair wouldn’t cooperate with her. Laura had a doctor’s appointment in the morning before she could head to work, and she ended up staying in the waiting room for an hour before she was seen. Leaving, she hit every red light on the road to the lab. The security guard was new and gave her a hassle for having a different haircut than the picture on her i.d. When she finally made it into the lab, she could tell immediately that there was something serious going on. Arthur didn’t even notice her walk in. He was surrounded by the other five people in the lab, and they were deep in discussion. “No, wait,” Laura thought to herself. There were only four of the lab workers with Arthur. She wondered where Emily was, and jumped out of her skin when Marc, one of the workers, said, “We should find something lethal and inject her with it. She deserves to die!”

As I would have formatted it:

It was a sunny Monday morning, but the nice weather didn’t stop everything from going wrong. Laura found a hole in her favorite sweater, the cook had overdone the eggs for breakfast, and her hair wouldn’t cooperate with her. Laura had a doctor’s appointment in the morning before she could head to work, and she ended up staying in the waiting room for an hour before she was seen. Leaving, she hit every red light on the road to the lab. The security guard was new and gave her a hassle for having a different haircut than the picture on her I.D.

When she finally made it into the lab, she could tell immediately that there was something serious going on. Arthur didn’t even notice her walk in. He was surrounded by the other five people in the lab, and they were deep in discussion. “No, wait,” Laura thought to herself. There were only four of the lab workers with Arthur, and she wondered where Emily was.

She almost jumped out of her skin when Marc, one of the workers, said, “We should find something lethal and inject her with it. She deserves to die!”

The first revised paragraph talks about everything that went wrong that morning. The second brings us to the here and now.

I changed the “I.D.” to upper case because it’s an abbreviation and should be capitalized (I’m not sure about whether the periods are necessary though). I also made two other small changes so the paragraph could be split (in red). I hate to modify anyone else’s writing without consulting with them first, but illustrating what I’m talking about is the best way I know of to get what I’m trying to say across.

As I see it, this should be about twelve paragraphs long.

Just a couple of suggestions to help you along,

BB

Re: Laura’s Child Chapter 1

It’s a bit short, you could have grouped this + the Prologue together. There really isn’t much to add from BB’s comment but I will be interested to see where you go from here.

Although I do have to commend you for writing a first story that isn’t generic :smiley:

Re: Laura’s Child Chapter 1

Thanks for the constructive criticism; I really appreciate it. I’ll try to watch my dialogue and paragraphs. I hope my story won’t end up too generic…there are some common themes involved, but I’ll try to keep it interesting. Thanks again for the advice.