First 250 Words of “Talented Minds”

March 11, 2011 at 3:13 PM | Posted in writing | 7 Comments

What follows are the first 250 words of my science fiction book “Talented Minds”.

Name:  Vicki Sourdry

Title: Talented Minds

Genre:  Science Fiction

 Even without having to raise his mental walls, there were no thoughts from other people’s minds to intrude on his own; no foreign memories to compete in his consciousness.  Floating weightless in the nose of his ship, surrounded by a  universe of stars, Dan’l relished the silence and the solitude.

“SOARING WING, please confirm flight path and timeline.” The radio contact from Orchid broke his concentration with such force that he inadvertantly destroyed the nearly completed puzzle he had been constructing in the air in front of him.

Annoyed with himself, Dan’l swam through the air to the pilot’s console and checked the readouts.    

 “SOARING WING approaching at 260 mark 145.  Orbit in 28 standard hours.  Please confirm Police Authority status.”

Working for The Mind Guild had given him a long life of purpose and satisfaction, but it left little time for building relationships.  Except for Roscoe, of course.  The radio had awakened his miniature bear-like pet, and he nudged Dan’l, wanting to play.  Waiting for the time-delayed response from Orchid, Dan’l smiled and threw a toy to the other side of the cabin.  He felt joy flood Roscoe’s uncomplicated mind.  With all six legs whirling at full speed, it took the happy ball of fur several minutes to follow the toy.         

 “Authority reports no progress, SOARING WING.  They are anxiously awaiting your help.  Welcome to Orchid.”

 “Thank you.” 

He  sent a message to Will’m, the Director of The Mind Guild.  “Arrived Orchid.  Situation unchanged.  Beginning assignment.”

Dan’l sighed.  Time to go to work.



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  1. Hello Early bird – I am early too. I like it. It is very sharp, but I don’t need the critter – If it’s furry -it sheds. hair in space ok- hair in weightless space – blech. It would be all over everything and would simply hang in the air waiting to be sucked into the lungs. Loose the fur and I think it is fantastic. Make the thing not furry but still cute? Bears are drooly and mean when they are not fed – not teddyish -if he’s important – think him out more.

    To celebrate the positive things in his life – politically correct alone pastime????? – why not brood – or be numb – he has nobody – cause he’s so ….. ???? Great start but don’t vanilla him – he’s alone cause – he has a dreadful problem my dear – he has a sneaky little crush on someone or he’s lost his best buddie or the furry critter got caught in the dang vent system – Happy Dan must be tortured – or at least aware that he has nobody to make him soup – Perfectly alone and prefers it???? Then he’s still in trouble for being a souless moron with no physical want of company – where’s his sad, nobody loves me, doubt? Please don’t make the critter his buddie if he has no wish for girls or boys? (no I am not being snarky I am snorking a beverage trying to figure out why Happy Dan – who is in the mind guild – can’t make a friend???)

    Please take me with a grin and a block of salt – then toss it at me – fix it and you write with a ton of tight flare! I love the part about building the puzzle – ohhh descibe that – is it metalic or made of something we don’t have – is it delicate or…..????
    It’s like he either needs to be off duty – or on. He’s sort of in between – how is sitting playing puzzles – but on duty with a pet -circle into the mind guild.

    Some of this may be answered with more – but that the first impression. Mine is up too – stop on by and snork a beverage – RED INK IS LOVE.

  2. I’m assuming this is your entry for Brenda’s Show Me the Voice Blogfest. Dan’l sounds like a solitary, introverted chap. I enjoyed the piece. And where can I get a Roscoe? 🙂

    My only suggestion: from the book title and the reference to the Mind Guild, I’m assuming the story has some sort of mind power, psychic bent to it. Perhaps this should be made clearer, as at the moment this sounds like a typical day at work, albeit on a spaceship, and I’m not drawn towards anything in particular.

  3. Okay! Firstly, it sounds like you have a really interesting premise here. I’d definitely like to read about it.

    Some of my critique is a little nitpicky, but still helpful, I hope!

    – When you say his jobs accumulate negativity in his mind, I’m not sure if this is because Dan’l is kind of a hippie and hates hanging out with people who have a negative attitude, or, given the mention of the Mind Guild, whether this actually refers to a mental balance he needs to keep because of psychic activities.

    – You refer to Roscoe as a “miniature bear-like animal from the planet Everlast”. Is there a way you could show what he’s like rather than giving his description? The reference to six feet whirling and being a happy ball of fur, you have the foundation right there–describing him rather than stating what he is keeps the reader inside what’s happening, rather than moving them out to a distance to receive formal information, I think.

    – I got a bit confused about Dan’l’s surroundings. First I imagined him in a clear bubble that’s fixed onto the nose of his ship, then I realised that possibly that bubble is his cabin, then he had a puzzle in front of him that I hadn’t picked up before — I’d imagined him just floating there, staring at the universe.

    Love the ending! Police Authority status? And what’s the Mind Guild! I definitely want to find out!

  4. I really enjoyed this piece. I very concisely written. Good job.


  5. Loved it. I definitely got a feel for the psychic powers in the 2nd paragraph; my thought was that Dan’l picked up thoughts and memories and consciousness when around others, and their negativity became a burden on him as he had to deal with their issues in his own mind.

    The floating bubble did confuse me; I was expecting something smaller, possibly even fluid or gel-like, so that he is playing fetch with a bear didn’t make sense. Is the bear in the same bubble? Bubble of what? If it is just the ship’s control room, then maybe a different word is in order.

    I also agree that “miniature bear-like animal from the planet Everlast” is a bit…off from the rest of the story. It seems like a way for the reader to understand what Roscoe is, not a way in which Dan’l would identify the little creature. Does Dan’l know what an earth bear is? And is Roscoe’s planet of origin even important? If not, might be best to drop that so readers have one less thing to keep in mind.

    Very fun beginning, and I’m curious where the story goes. Mind Guild–that does spark the imagination!

  6. I like all the world building. And I definitely felt peaceful reading . . . right up until the radio contact. So good job bringing in the tension

    It’s all well-written, but I agree with J.C. in that there wasn’t anything specific I felt attached to by the end. Including the mc. I just wanted something to relate to.

    But I love the idea of the Mind Guild. Very cool.

    Best of luck with it!

  7. Good job! Transported in time and space. Juts a small suggestion; could the long paragraph be better read as two, or even three?

    You’ll not need luck for this entry to do well, but I’ll say it anyway–good luck!

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