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Friday, January 22, 2010


Member critique:

AMY: This is an intriguing start. However, the flow didn't quite work for me in that you start off with him remembering her in photo and end with the old man either dead or seriously injured. I would almost take out the beginning and start with "A half moon . . . " and put the beginning after "The old man saved his little girl." But, with so few words to start with it is hard for me to tell where this is going so that may not work with the rest of the chap. Great descriptions.

MELISSA: Put the picture in his hand. Let him hold, see it, to bring it into real time. If this is a flashback as both Amy and I think it is, give it substance. Make it real by letting him hold the object and not just remembering when he held the object. I'm intrigued though, definitely a good hook. I would check your ing words and shorten the first couple of lines. Break up those sentences to increase the pacing. For example: Adam McClelland held the newspaper clipping. The photo of the sultry woman with the sizzling come-hither gaze and parted lips caught his eye.

Beautiful description btw, I can see the moon, hear the gravel. Very well done. That is definitely your strength. Work on those few things and I would say you've got a winner here! Excellent job.

HEATHER: Thanks for joining us.

First sentence: The beginning really confuses me because I’m not sure where I am. Am I in the present looking at an old picture or am I in flashback? Consider revising.

The magician’s son ran Carly off. That means she’s gone but the next line contradicts that.

Consider moving “Looks real bad, Adam...” closer to Sheriff Jeff Olestra greeted Adam. The dialogue seems misplaced. This is another I'd really like to read again after changes.

SAMANTHA: First of all, you have a beautiful way of writing. I could really see the setting. Great job at world building.

I was confused by the first line, too. From what I take from the scene, the magician is dead, probably a victim of a crime. What I don't get is the connection between the crime and the newspaper clipping. Or is it the girl who is dead? I'm thinking not, because then why would the sheriff say he knows they are close. However, confusing beginning paragraph or not, I would like to read more.

JERRICA: "A metal bumblebee." I love that! However, I have to agree with the others - I'm a bit confused by the opening and what's going on. I like vague, but this might be a little too vague. A little clean up and it'll be a stellar opening! Well done!

PHYLLIS: This opening was very interesting. I agree with the others that the first part didn't pull me in, but once I kept reading, then it became intriguing. Your writing is good, so I know you'll be able to fix this with no problems!

JULIE: You do a superb job of world building. However, the flashback in the beginning really confused me. I read your entry twice to make sure I understood who was dead. Perhaps he could see a quick snap shot of the body to clue the reader in with just a word or two before the scene move forward. I would definitely read more of this story though, so I'd say you have done a nice job with the hook.


  1. I'm coming in late to this, so please forgive me.

    And let me say how brave I think you and all the others are. Putting your work out there for other people to tear apart in a public setting can be scary.

    For me, I think the only thing I would do differently is to pull back on giving the audience too much information. For example... Instead of saying - His old friend, Sherriff Joe Olestra... I'd just say Sherriff Joe Olestra. If they're old friends, that's going to come across. Let the audience piece some of it together. Does that make sense?

    Also - try reading your work aloud. Does it have a good rhythm and pace? That's the best way to find out. I think the things the other ladies mentioned will become more clear when you hear the spoken word vs. reading it in your mind.

    I probably sound too new-agey. Ignore me, if I don't make any sense. :)

  2. They are very brave for posting their work for everyone to see. I hope no one feels their work is torn apart, though. I think everyone who submitted has talent.

  3. I didn't mean really torn apart, but it is a fear I would have. I'm a chicken.