EXCERPT OF DEVIL’S HIT LIST
Oh no, not again. I’d grappled to a helicopter before. Prayer on my lips, my body hit overdrive. Mindware took charge. Running out into the street, I shot a molecular bonding grapple at the nearest chopper’s belly, and set my winch to reeling.
I sprang up into the air.
On my way up, I shot my left-handed grapple near the top of the canopy.
The pilots had to be freaked. One couldn’t shoot at me without damaging his friend, and the other banked away from the ladies on the ground, wiggling the craft to shake me loose.
When I reached the helicopter, I released my first grapple and allowed the second to wind tight. Snug against the gunship, I gasped for breath against the rotor wash. With my right hand I drew a short sword from its scabbard in the lining of my duster. In a second I had carefully cut the hydraulic line. Fluid spurted across the windscreen like mechanical blood, the bird began to spin, and—the next step required the faith of a prophet—I released from the chopper.
I’ve had the opportunity to do a little mentoring for a talented young writer. I don’t get to mentor often and I enjoy it when I do. Several weeks ago she allowed me to read a short story she had written and to give her a high level critique. What follows below is the critique that I gave, posted here with permission. I thought it might be profitable for other you writers who are enamored with a classical fireside style of story-telling.
First of all, let me tell you that I enjoyed your story very much. I thought the premise was great and for what you did it was written excellently. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the style is something that is mostly unmarketable in the current fiction market.
When I started writing, I imitated all the great classical literature that I enjoyed. Classical literature is heavy on prose, low on dialogue, and mostly passive. In the current market trends, this doesn’t sell. At all. It took me years to learn this lesson. You can still see this classical style in the first drafts of Winter. So I appreciate and understand all about using this style.