Readers Wanted: Born in 1905

I’d love having a reader or two look over this one before I send it out. It is 7300 words of science-fiction. It’s in a password protected post, but you can drop me a line and I’ll tell ya.

The teaser:

Mary Elois Jackson stood inside the plain steel box of the time machine. It was about the size of an outhouse, but without a bench or windows. She clutched her cane with one hand and her handbag with the other.

Her corset creaked with every breath. She’d expected to hate wearing a corset again but there was a certain comfort from having something to support her back and give her a shape more like a woman than a sack of potatoes.

A gust of air puffed all around her and the steel box was gone. She stood in a patch of tall grass under an early morning October sky. The caravan of scientists, technicians and reporters had vanished from the field where they’d set up camp. Elois inhaled with wonder that the time machine had worked. Assuming that this was 1905, of course.

Even if you don’t have time to read it, I’ve got a title question.  My working title was “Time-travelling Grandma” which I’m sort of tempted to go back to.  Thoughts?

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9 Responses

  1. Joe Iriarte

    Are you looking for just anyone–even uncredentialed wretches like me? If so, I’d love to read it. :o)

    As far as titles, are you familiar with http://www.wordle.net ? You can use it to generate word clouds for any batch of text, of pretty much any size. I’ve used it to try to find words I repeat too much, but Lynn Viehl mentioned on her blog that she uses it to spark her brainstorming for titles, since it tends to highlight the central, perhaps unconscious, themes of the story, as revealed by your word choice. I haven’t yet tried that myself, but it sounds plausible enough. 🙂

    1. Joe Iriarte

      “. . . but you can drop me a line and I’ll tell ya.”

      D’Oh! I see I already failed the first test of reading comprehension! In my defense, I can’t access my personal e-mail from work.

  2. ceb

    Your working title sets the reader’s expectations instantly. But that is accomplished in the first paragraph anyway. Your current title only becomes clear after the reader has progressed a bit.

    Is “First Flight” too much? I was thinking it could apply to more than one of the characters in this story.

  3. Gail Carriger

    Totally on a different track, it’s a popular misconception but corsets don’t creak. A whale bone one may make a slight noise if you were an inexperienced wearer and tried to bend at the waist. And, just for the record, they aren’t laced by being pulled straight back either (a la Gone With the Wind). Sorry for being pedantic (10 corsets, 8 years working/modeling for a professional corset maker). If you wanted to indicate she was in a corset, you might have her think about how it is changing the way she sits (more perched on the edge of a seat), or makes her less hungry, or presses on her kidney (if fit wrong), or holds in a hurt/out of place rib.
    ~ Gail

  4. Joe Iriarte

    Now that I’ve read it, I like the title “Born in 1905” a little better than “Time-travelling Grandma.” Grandma is not entirely accurate. She’s also a mother and a great-grandmother and a great-great-grandmother, right? And yet, unless I missed something, this isn’t a real factor in the story, other than to emphasize her age. I appreciate that the title “Born in 1905” seems like a non-sequitur at first, and then makes sense once I understand the rules. I like trying to piece together what’s going on.

  5. -d-

    I like “Born in 1905” just fine. BTW would she have worn corsets or were they out of style by the time she was an adult? If she didn’t wear them, then she should comment on how glad she was that she didn’t.

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