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Open Miiiiiiic!

January 14, 2010

Okay, guys, you know the drill.

Leave your 300-word poem, short story, or novel excerpt for comment, and then comment at least one other piece.

I also want to try something a little new this week. I’ve noticed quite a few of you are asking for constructive feedback. I’ve made a point to only praise the things I love about your work, because I understand (do I!) how difficult it can be to hear feedback, no matter how well intentioned.

That said, it’s a fact that none of us can get better without it (and I include myself in that “us” because one of the things I love most about writing is that I’m always learning and have a never-ending supply of opportunities to be BETTER). So, I’m going to leave it to you. If you include a request for constructive feedback, I will try to point out one thing I think can improve your piece (sometimes I can’t find anything!). But only if you promise to remember that A) feedback makes us BETTER, and B) I ❤ you guys, LOVE your work, and any feedback would be offered only in the spirit of writerly camaraderie. No hard feelings allowed or we’ll have to go back to positive comments only. Fair enough?

And, yanno, if you just don’t have the heart for that kind of feedback (and believe me, we ALL have days, weeks, and months like that!), no problem! In that case, post your excerpt as before with no request for feedback. I’ll still give you my positive comments but will steer clear of anything constructive for that post, no questions asked.

Listen, sometimes, we’re all a little fragile. If you’re going through a creatively fragile moment, I totally get you!

Lastly, I wanted to tell you guys that next week, I’m going to have a very special guest commentator on Open Mic. I’m not telling who (yet!), but her book debuted to much acclaim last year and she’s an amazing writer with incredible wit. I’m really looking forward to having her join us for next week’s Open Mic.

ETA; It’s going to take me  a bit longer to comment in more depth, so please be patient! I may get to a few each day, but don’t worry if yours isn’t one of them. I PROMISE I’ll get to them all!

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91 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2010 11:26 pm

    Haven’t posted anything since last time, maybe you guys’ll like this excerpt as well:

    There’s a moment when you’re falling where you seem to be weightless and time stands still, and that was exactly how I felt. I knew I was spiralling away from my old life and that something bad was about to happen to me, but had I had known it would have happened that fast, I would have prepared myself.

    I would have said no to everything that my friends were pushing on me, said no to pushing myself into getting the best grades and into fooling myself that I could be someone special.

    I would have grasped at the edges of this and pulled my deteriorating body from the black hole as I felt my downy white feathers drift away from my frail body. A lifetime of growing them out, and I had just gotten them the way I liked them.

    And I sank into the void, losing myself to the sensation of falling to my death. I was in a limitless vacuum. In the middle of a fading, vanishing star. I was weightless, breathless and untamed. Yet, I wasn’t scared; in fact, I had known that this day would come and I accepted it.

    I twirled downwards like a petal that had begun its descent from the cherry tree to fall to the ground.

    Down,
    down,
    down I went.

    Right before I hit the deepest, darkest part of the void, a blindingly bright light flashed all around me.

    I tried covering my face with what was left of my hands, but the light went through them like they were glass.

    I remember screaming, once, before everything disappeared.

    [note]Feedback of any type is welcome 🙂

    • January 19, 2010 7:01 pm

      wow this is just… awesome :)) i don’t know what it is but i just really like this.

      • January 20, 2010 10:04 pm

        Thanks, I actually stumbled upon this one night; it was written a while back, can’t give really give a date though.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    January 17, 2010 10:28 am

    Hi Michelle! I’m back! This time with a different WIP!
    I don’t know what the title is yet. Constructive feedback is greatly appreciated!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I sauntered through the open night under the smoky gray clouds. For the fifth time, I peered at the threat-letter that leaded me to the abandoned hotel downtown. I stumbled over the rocks and debris to approach the so-called front. I couldn’t find a door. I looked closely at the letter to make sure I was at the right place. I was.
    The letter said that if I didn’t come and bring the Maien Diamond, my family would die a horrible death immediately. I love my family, and would do anything to keep them safe. That’s why I risked my entire life full of dreams to save them.
    The Maien Diamond is the precious jewel that kept me safe. I was a witch. I was always being hunted by different demons because of my power. As long as I had the Maien Diamond on me I would be safe.
    “What are you doing here?” I heard someone ask. I spun around to see a boy in a t-shirt and ripped jean. “I’m Raikel, but you can call me Rake. May I ask again, what are you doing here?”
    “Why do you need to know? Why don’t you just get out of here and leave me alone.” I replied. I was frightened by his presence.
    “Is that the Maien Diamond?” he said, looking at my hand. I tightened my grip on it.
    “How do you know about that?” I asked, trembling. Fear must have been showing in my voice. He looked at me as if I was crazy. Then, he pulled out a long knife. He held it to my neck.
    “Give it to me” He whispered in my ear. I could fell his breath on my cheek.
    I passed out.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    • Ayla permalink
      January 17, 2010 10:32 am

      i forgot to change anonymous to ayla… Oops!

    • Ayla permalink
      January 17, 2010 1:16 pm

      BTW it would be cool if you started a feature where people who like your book can post other books that they liked for the ppl who dont have anything to read and dont want to spend hours at the library looking for just one book. Kinda like and online bookclub feature

      • michellezinkbooks permalink*
        January 17, 2010 2:03 pm

        That’s a great idea, Ayla.! I’ve actually had a lot of requests for various features and have been toying with the idea of creating my own online forum. I’m just worried I wouldn’t have time to moderate it (though I’ve had one very generous offer of help). Still, I’m considering it! In the meantime, there are A LOT of discussions going on in the Prophecy community at http://www.prophecyoftheisters.com. This is a great idea for a new thread over there, and if you have time and want to go post it, I’m sure you’d get a great response.

        MZ

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 18, 2010 1:32 pm

      I really enjoyed this, Ayla! You’ve set the darkness of the abandoned hotel and I love the interesting storyline to which you’ve alluded.

      The one thing I’d recommend would be to work on building all the backstory information into the story itself rather than in a big block of information.

      Let’s take this passage as an example;

      “The letter said that if I didn’t come and bring the Maien Diamond, my family would die a horrible death immediately. I love my family, and would do anything to keep them safe. That’s why I risked my entire life full of dreams to save them.
      The Maien Diamond is the precious jewel that kept me safe. I was a witch. I was always being hunted by different demons because of my power. As long as I had the Maien Diamond on me I would be safe.”

      If you can find a way to build in the backstory of the Maien Diamond, your MC as a witch, the demons, etc. into your story – either in the form of conversations with others people or in smaller doses of exposition throughout the beginning of your story – you won’t have to break up your narrative by dropping big chunks of information on the reader. Even something as small as the fact that your MC loves her family can be illustrated through interactions with or memories of them rather than her saying she loves them. Does that make sense?

      If you apply this to your manuscript in its entirety, you’ll see a big difference!

      I’m eager to learn more about the world your building here, hon, and hope you post again this week!

      MZ

      • Ayla permalink
        January 18, 2010 1:59 pm

        Cool! I will definately do that so it has more of a chance of getting published one day…

      • Ayla permalink
        January 20, 2010 3:54 pm

        Sierra told me that she was planning to post this week!

  3. January 15, 2010 9:38 pm

    This an excerpt from a screen play I wrote called Amouraq. If you’d like to read more, feel free to ask 🙂

    INT./EXT. AMELIA’S HOUSE. AFTERNOON.

    Stephen takes his black Jaguar down a lovely, old fashioned
    neighborhood full of trees and comfortable-looking houses.
    He parks his car on the curb at Emily’s address, he walks up the stone path to the small porch, and he uses the door knocker. AMELIA (an elderly woman with light gray hair tied in a bun and glasses wearing a dress that was probably purchased when she was young) answers the door.

    AMELIA
    Can I help you?

    STEPHEN
    (holds up his badge)
    Agent Stephen Knight, CIA.
    May I come in?

    AMELIA
    Sure. Would you like
    some tea?

    STEPHEN
    Yes, please.

    Stephen enters into the living room, which is filled with old fashioned furniture and aura of warmness. He sits next an end table with a picture of a man smiling and a woman pretending to kiss him. It rests in an ornate, silver frame, and it sits next to an old lamp that shines down on it. Amelia enters the room holding a tray with a teapot and two cups on it. As she sits the tray down on a coffee table, she notices the photo that he is staring at.

    AMELIA
    Oh, that’s my daughter,
    Sylvie, and her husband,
    Ronald, on their honeymoon
    in Ireland. That was about
    twenty years ago. Eleven years
    later, they were killed in
    a car crash.

    STEPHEN
    I’m sorry…Does that mean
    you’re Emily’s guardian?

    AMELIA
    Yes, I’m sorry. I forgot to
    introduce myself. I’m
    Amelia.

    They shake hands.

    STEPHEN
    Pleasure.

    AMELIA
    (picks up the photo sadly)
    Poor Emily misses them
    almost as much as I do.
    But I guess, in a way,
    it’s better they died this
    way, quickly rather than
    slowly and painfully like
    the current heirs. They
    both would’ve died through
    this whole affair. Sylvie
    would’ve died trying to
    protect him, and he would
    die trying to save Amouraq.
    It’s all been very horrible
    I’m assuming that’s why you’re
    here.

    STEPHEN
    The nightmare is gonna
    end soon, starting now.
    I’m going to protect
    your granddaughter and
    find out who the murderer
    is. You wouldn’t happen to
    have any ideas, would you?
    Somewhere I could start?

    AMELIA
    I’m fairly certain I
    know who’s doing this.
    His name is Xavier Ryder,
    and he’s at the very bottom
    even be on there! One of his ancestors raped an heir
    around thirteen fifty-seven.
    His family has been at war
    with Alexander’s ancestors
    for ages, and Xavier is
    trying to finalize his
    family’s evil regime. He
    won’t rest until he’s
    dictator of Amouraq.

    STEPHEN
    Wow, that’s terrible. Why
    hasn’t the government
    suspected him?

    AMELIA
    I’m sure they have, but
    they cant’ prove it. He’s
    probably not the only bad
    apple on that list either.
    That’s just the problem.
    Evil as he may be, he’s
    a very cunning man. He
    thinks he found a way
    destroy King Alexander’s
    family and country once
    and for all. That’s why
    you can’t fail! If Xavier
    succeeds, Amouraq is truly
    doomed.

    STEPHEN
    Don’t worry; I’ve never
    Failed a mission before,
    and I certainly won’t fail
    one this important.
    (beat)
    How do you know all this?

    AMELIA
    Ronald told me all about
    it.

    STEPHEN
    But what makes you so sure
    it’s him?

    AMELIA
    Prove me wrong.

    STEPHEN
    (shrugs)
    It makes sense. It’ll be
    hard to find him I bet.

    AMELIA
    His family locked Alexander’s
    hidden forest. Maybe he’s
    there.

    STEPHEN
    Oh good, I was worried that
    he’d be somewhere hard to find.
    (beat)
    If he’s there, how is it that
    he’s killed people all over the
    world?

    AMELIA
    Oh, he wouldn’t do it alone.
    He has assassins doing his
    dirty work for him.

    STEPHEN
    So, we could learn where
    he’s hiding if one of his
    assassins comes by and tells
    us. They’re killing all over
    the world too, so that won’t be
    too easy either.

    AMELIA
    Are your jobs ever easy
    though? I’m sure this one
    is a little different, and
    it’s sort of unsettling to
    you, but I’m sure you’ll
    prevail as you always have.

    STEPHEN
    Thanks. I’m not afraid.

    AMELIA
    Yes, you are, but you’re
    brave because you push
    your fears aside for
    something more important.
    You and Emily are so alike!
    If you run into Xavier, I’m
    sure your courage will get
    you through anything he puts
    you through. And I’m sure
    you’ll do just fine with
    any of his assassins since
    both you and Emily are much
    smarter than the clowns he
    hires.

    Stephen titters a little. They sip their tea quietly for a moment, and suddenly Stephen’s intuition raises an alarm.

    STEPHEN
    Where’s Emily right now?

    Amelia looks at the big grandfather clock on the other side of the room as he bolts up.

    AMELIA
    She should be on her way
    home from school right now.
    It’s not far from here.
    Keep driving down this
    street half a mile or so
    until you hit McKinely Avenue.
    She drives a silver Porsche
    convertible,or as I call it,
    half her inheritance blown
    quickly.

    STEPHEN
    I’m going to make sure
    she gets home okay. I’ll
    be right back.

    AMELIA
    I know you will. You’ve
    never failed before, right?

    Amelia chuckles, and Stephen smiles even though he’s feeling a little anxious about Emily right now. He leaves.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 18, 2010 1:17 pm

      I REALLY enjoyed getting a glimpse into a different format like script writing. I’ve alwasy harbored a secret desire to write one, so getting to take a peek at this was extra fun for me. I love the fantasy-esque storyline juxtaposed against modern characters. Very cool.

      Thanks so much for sharing it, Dana! I hope to see more in the furture!

      MZ

      • January 18, 2010 2:07 pm

        Thanks Michelle! I will definately post more in the future. If you’re interested in writing scripts, I recommend “Writing Your Screenplay” by Cynthia Whitcomb and for animated features, I’d recommend “Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games” by Christy Marx. I am trying to find an agent for this script I posted, but no luck so far 😦 I am typing another one that might be a lower budget, so maybe I’ll have better luck with that one. Or maybe when the children’s film I wrote comes out, more people will want to sign me.But I really appreciate having you reading my work and your comments! It always makes me happy when people read my stuff!

  4. January 15, 2010 3:32 am

    From my other WIP. 🙂 To clarify – Caleb is five, Andy is eleven, and Thomas is fourteen.

    “Buddy?” Thomas shook his shoulder gently. “You okay?”
    He half expected to be swatted away with a mumbled complaint. But Caleb didn’t move. Strange. He was usually such a light sleeper. Thomas bent in closer and raised his voice. “Caleb? Can you hear me?”

    “I can hear the wind in the oak tree.”

    The voice came from his brother, but it was not his brother’s voice. Thomas jerked away his hand as though he had been burnt, a cold chill settling over his heart. Dear God, what was going on? It took every scrap of his courage not to back away. “Caleb?”

    “I can hear the baby sleeping in the ash tree.”

    “What…?” Andy walked up, and Thomas hushed her sharply. For once she subsided without a complaint, staring wide-eyed at Caleb’s motionless form.
    Thomas wanted very much not to ask again. He wanted to walk away and come back when Caleb was himself. He wanted the high-pitched cracked voice to stop talking, for Caleb to sit up and laugh excitedly at having fooled them both.

    “Buddy… is that you?”

    Please. Please say yes.

    The thing laughed then, a cackle that made the blood in Thomas’s veins run cold in horror. It moved, throwing back the folds of Caleb’s coat, and Andy screamed. Instead of Caleb, a wizened deformed face with piggy eyes and a sharp-toothed smile looked up at them. It laughed again, curling long yellowed fingers into claws, and rocking back and forth in glee.

    “I am older than the elder tree,” it screeched. “I am older than the roots of the Holly King!”

    • Jessica permalink
      January 15, 2010 8:12 pm

      Wow, you’ve got me hooked. I can’t imagine what is going on, which is a great thing. I love being confused when reading, up to the point that it keeps me reading until things are explained. Very well done, the dialog is amazing.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 18, 2010 1:01 pm

      Oh, wow… this is… disturbing. In every good way. I can actually hear the strange voice Caleb would use in his “dream” state.

      LOVE this;

      “Thomas wanted very much not to ask again. He wanted to walk away and come back when Caleb was himself. He wanted the high-pitched cracked voice to stop talking, for Caleb to sit up and laugh excitedly at having fooled them both.”

      I can feel his dread.

      The only thing I would suggest in this is not to tell the reader too much. You’ve done such a fantastic job depicting the creepiness of this scene and Thomas’ fear. If you lay it out in the next breath, it only takes away from the groundwork you’ve so perfectly laid.

      As an example, in;

      “He half expected to be swatted away with a mumbled complaint. But Caleb didn’t move. Strange. He was usually such a light sleeper. Thomas bent in closer and raised his voice. “Caleb? Can you hear me?”

      You can remove a couple of things and let the reader figure it out like so;

      “He half expected to be swatted away with a mumbled complaint. But Caleb didn’t move. Thomas bent in closer and raised his voice. “Caleb? Can you hear me?”

      And in;

      “The voice came from his brother, but it was not his brother’s voice. Thomas jerked away his hand as though he had been burnt, a cold chill settling over his heart. Dear God, what was going on? It took every scrap of his courage not to back away. “Caleb?”

      You can remove a couple of things to get the same result;

      “The voice came from his brother, but it was not his brother’s voice. Thomas jerked away his hand as though he had been burnt, a cold chill settling over his heart. “Caleb?”

      I was SO guilty of this when I was writing Prophecy! My agent and editor both drove home the very important lesson, “Respect your reader,” because if you’ve done your job as a writer (and here, you HAVE), you don’t need to over-explain.

      If you apply this to your entire manuscript, I think you’ll be surprised what a difference it will make. I STILL catch myself doing it and it’s one of the big things I watch for when editing my own work.

      Hope it helps, and I REALLY hope to see more from you, hon!

      MZ

  5. January 15, 2010 12:45 am

    The first time I tried it was last week and seeing how there were kind comments, I think I will try this with my WIP. This is my opening for it. Thanks everyone 😀

    – – –

    Older Brother couldn’t remember her real name. Younger Brother repeated her name, over and over, tasting each syllable on his tongue. Magpie kept it to herself. It was about her after all, her name, her secret, her pain, at least to Younger Brother. He loved her. Loved her as only a homely, never been kiss, much less touch a girl, really only a boy on the verge of manhood, 14 year old could. She filled up his world since the moment he first saw her. Unfortunately for Younger Brother, he first saw her with Older Brother.
    Years before, while Younger Brother and Older Brother both attended Junior High School, this ‘unfortunately’ would have been very fortunate. Then, Older Brother and Younger Brother were different. Junior High School for Younger Brother was a happy time. Younger Brother was not a very good student, nor popular, but he was considered cool. Cool by association, because Older Brother was popular. The shadow of Older Brother’s impression lingered still in Junior High School when Younger Brother stepped up to fill it. Golden years to Younger Brother. His teachers already knew who he was before he entered the classrooms. He already had friends when he started Junior High School. Didn’t have any questions of where his place was of where he stood in the cafeteria. He had a table to come to eat to, friends waiting for him, with Older Brother saving a seat for him.

    Thanks for all feedback- 🙂

    • Jessica permalink
      January 15, 2010 8:10 pm

      I liked the set up, it was done well. This one sentence, though I found awkward “Loved her as only a homely, never been kiss, much less touch a girl, really only a boy on the verge of manhood, 14 year old could.”

      Perhaps it should be changed to “Loved her as only a homely, never been kissed, or even touched, by a girl could. Only 14 years old, on the verge of manhood, he was just a boy.” Try breaking it up a bit, the sentence just seemed out of place. That’s my only suggestion, otherwise, I enjoyed it.

      • January 15, 2010 10:26 pm

        Thank you Jessica! That sentence is actually the one I had most trouble with. i actually omitted it many times only to put write it back in. I think breaking the sentence up is for the best.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 18, 2010 12:41 pm

      This has a real stream-of-conscience feel to it, Anie, that I love. I feel like I’m really inside someone’s head, which is a difficult thing to do in third person (at least for me).

      I especially love this part;

      “…repeated her name, over and over, tasting each syllable on his tongue.”

      Also loved the name “Magpie”!

      I’m not sure if you’re using “Younger Brother/Older Brother” as a device, but that was the only thing that threw me a bit. Giving the brothers names will allow the reader to identify more readily with them, visualize them more clearly, and will also give us the opportunity to sink more fully into your wonderful narrative.

      Really liked this hon, and would love to see more from you!

      MZ

  6. January 15, 2010 12:18 am

    um just something i wrote awhile ago while watching a big storm… i love rain! XD any constructive feedback is welcome!:
    When I look out the window,
    hearing the leaves move as the wind blows
    I smile and feel a little warm,
    for I can see the coming storm.

    And it makes me feel good.
    As i look the oh-so beautiful rain begins
    to fall hard, as if every angel in the sky
    had begun to cry.
    The raindrops hit everything,
    they do not miss a thing.
    I hear a pitter-pat, and a tap tap tap!

    I have a sudden empiphany
    for
    it sounds like God is making a symphany.
    The trees sway in the wind like conducters
    and the leaves fly away, making soft whispers.
    I cant help but move and sway to the soft beautiful music.

    • Jessica permalink
      January 15, 2010 8:05 pm

      Very pretty, I enjoyed the imagery in this piece. I’ve always had a soft spot for poetry and this was no exception.

    • January 17, 2010 5:23 am

      I love this line: as if every angel in the sky had begun to cry.

      It’s beautiful!

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 18, 2010 12:35 pm

      This makes me feel so peaceful, Meagan. It reminds me a little of Mary Oliver. Have you read her work? It’s incredible.

      I wish I could critique your poetry, but I’m so terrible at it that I don’t feel qualified. I’ll just say I LOVE it instead!

      MZ

      • January 18, 2010 7:29 pm

        thank you very much 🙂 no i have never read her work, but i believe i will look her up 🙂

  7. January 15, 2010 12:05 am

    This is from a work that I go back and forth on. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I hate it. Sometimes I print it out just to burn it in effigy and feel better for it (I never delete it however). At any rate. the Working Title is ‘She Who Hates Interruptions A LOT’ mostly because whenever I sit down to write this some major catastrophe seems to befall my family that only *I* can fix. Feedback and critisms is of course love and hi Michelle!
    ++++

    Once upon a time I saved my world. I was a hero celebrated by all. There were parades in the streets, parties in my honor all across the globe and my name on everyone’s lips. The world was once again a peaceful place, slowly forgetting the trials that had come before, relaxing into its old ways and rhythms. I went back to sleep, content that things were as should be.

    Then something happened and the world needed me again. ‘Save us!’ they called, cowering under their beds. ‘Beat them!’ they cried, hiding in sewers and tunnels. Screaming louder and louder until their voices melded together into a booming cacophony I could no more ignore then the beat of my heart.

    Again I woke, stretching in my hidden lair far beneath the Earth. I rose to meet the challenge presented by the new threat with the same strength and force of will I had used before. Except I found my enemy to be significantly weaker this time, a troublesome gnat that surely my people’s armed forces could have defeated.

    I reasoned however that it had only been half a generation since the brutality of the Kiris’ attack and they were uncertain of their might. The Kiris has been too great an enemy for them to handle, so I had intervened. I defeated the new attackers and the cycle repeated itself. I made sure to give the leaders a pep talk, give them some confidence in their own independence and ability, but acknowledged I would be there to help if the need arose.

    • January 15, 2010 1:59 am

      Wow! I really enjoyed this piece. Of course, I want to know what this being is who protects the earth and has a lair far beneath the earth.

      I’m drawn in from the start.

    • Jessica permalink
      January 15, 2010 8:04 pm

      Ooh, this is interesting, thank you for letting us read it. I would love to read in. You’ve brought me in with an uneasy feeling, as though this character is about to add a BUT at the end of what is written now. Good going 🙂

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 15, 2010 8:26 pm

      Very cool concept, Lexie! I’m intrigued. Like Danielle, I want to know more about what’s going on here.

      I like that the narrator seems to be observing with some detachment. It makes him/her seem all the more God-like.

      And I love this;

      “Again I woke, stretching in my hidden lair far beneath the Earth.”

      VERY visual. The words “stretching” and “lair” create incredible imagery.

      You can bring some of that impact to the sentence, “Then something happened and the world needed me again,” by articulating what the something was. It doesn’t have to be spelled out. But if you say something like, “Then the dark thing came and the wold needed me again,” or anything like that, it will help. “Something” is ambiguous and vague, and ambiguity takes away from the darkness and power of the other passages here.

      Nice job, hon! Hope to see more from you!

      MZ

  8. Jessica permalink
    January 14, 2010 8:25 pm

    Alright, so I was messing around with the male POV in my novel idea, though don’t know if this works. Please, any comments/criticisms are accepted. I would love feedback on anything. This is my first time posting, so I’m nervous.

    ————————————————————-

    From the back room, I could hear the entrance door open and close, the gentle patter of footsteps moving inside. Without looking, I knew Della had arrived and a deep stirring in my chest took hold of my body with the thought of seeing her today, one of the most important days of her life. The mere thought that I would be the one to christen her face with her tattoo left me awestruck.

    I remained frozen in place for a moment before quickly gathering myself and pushing open the wooden door – the same door which, as a child, I had fought to get open because of its sheer weight – with ease. Looking to the chairs which sat to the right hand side of the room, my eyes fell upon Adella and I nearly took a step back, her looks amazing me more today than they ever had.

    She looked beautiful, more beautiful than I had ever seen her. As she looked up to me, her eyes brightening with a small smile upon her barely parted lips, an easy pink brushing across her cheeks, I couldn’t help but smile myself. The simple happiness she was able to grant me from a single look only concreted my vow to claim her as my own once the tattoo had been finished and she was deemed legal by all possible standards. Until then, I was left to my own imagination about this Ms. Adella Harpa, as I was to refer to her publicly from here on out. She was an adult now, having survived to the age of sixteen. She would complete her mediocre schooling, have her job assigned to her, and begin earning her living within the next year. And throughout all that time, she would be mine. Finally mine.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 14, 2010 8:57 pm

      Aw, don’t be nervous, hon! It IS nerve-wracking, I know, to share your work so openly. But also very brave – and very good practice for the day when you will have to send your work out to agents and publishers! I know how much writers put into their work (published or not) and would never dream of being overly critical.

      Plus, this is wonderful! You already have me intrigued. I want to know what the tattoo means and if my sense is accurate that your narrator is menacing… It’s a powerful combination; I empathize with him for his obvious attraction to Adella but also feel deeply uneasy about his motives. And all in 300 words!

      I’m going to take a small passage to give you feedback on instead of one specific thing, because with a couple of tiny fixes, you can make it even stronger than it already is (and you can apply these comments to any of your writing going forward if you feel it applies);

      “Without looking, I knew Della had arrived and a deep stirring in my chest took hold of my body with the thought of seeing her today, one of the most important days of her life. The mere thought that I would be the one to christen her face with her tattoo left me awestruck.”

      By breaking that first long sentence into two, you’ll give each one more impact. It’s an important moment, and I think breaking it up would go a long way to making it stand out even more. Eliminating a couple of “extra” words will make everything flow more smoothly as will eliminating one of the uses of “her” in your last sentence.

      That would make it read like this;

      Without looking, I knew Della had arrived. A deep stirring took hold of my body at the thought of seeing her today, one of the most important days of her life. The mere thought that I would be the one to christen her face with the tattoo left me awestruck.”

      Such small things, really. But over an entire manuscript, they can make a HUGE difference. And you’re already on the right track with wonderful writing and what sounds like a really unique storyline.

      I’d definitely be interested in seeing more of your work, hon, and hope you’ll come back next week!

      MZ

      • Jessica permalink
        January 14, 2010 9:08 pm

        Thank you so much! It’s great to get feedback from someone else. I didn’t know about this until this week, so I’ll come back next week for more. I’ll have to reread over the rest and make sure to check out those changes.

    • January 15, 2010 12:02 am

      Aw Jessica I’m nervous too XD I’m simply horrible with sharing. One step at a time eh?

      Like Michelle I was intrigued with the tattoo–putting one on your face for your first one is different and I want to know the significance. I also definitely felt a ‘male’ vibe from the piece. I’m not sure how to explain it, but even if you hadn’t mentioned you were messing with the male POV I would have been able to tell.

      As for suggestions…some of the flow was odd, but its a rough draft with changes all the time so that could easily change.

      • Jessica permalink
        January 15, 2010 8:00 pm

        Thanks for the comment, Lexie. Yes, this was the first run of this POV so everything is changing. I’m glad the male persona came out, I was worried about that.

    • January 15, 2010 1:55 am

      I’m curious about this tattoo. What is it? I also like that you wrote: having survived to the age of sixteen. It’s got me thinking about when/where this takes place.

      • Jessica permalink
        January 15, 2010 8:02 pm

        Thanks for commenting Danielle, it means a lot. This piece takes place in a world which is, not to cheese it up, of my own creating, an alteration of the world today. As for the tattoo, I’d like not to divulge any details as it’s still a WIP 🙂

  9. January 14, 2010 8:04 pm

    Catherine – I love the descriptions. It sounds very interesting, and reminds me of something… but I can’t think of what.

    I’ll take whatever kind of feedback you have to give. 🙂

    This is a prologue to a now-defunct story I was writing. I liked it so I kept it just in case. I cut out some parts to make it fit the 300 words, but most of it had to do with the main story.

    ———————————————————————————

    A sound interrupted her thoughts. Her son was moving around in his bed. Her beautiful son. Since her husband’s accident, the boy was all she had left. He began kicking his legs and thrashing about. Another nightmare. This was the third one this month. She moved over to him, and put her hand on his shoulder to rouse him. “Sweetie, wake up. You’re having a bad dream!” she said as she shook him. He started screaming, and fighting against her hand. She shook harder, and his eyes finally opened as he shouted, “No!” while sitting up and pushing forward at the invisible assailant with his hands. Then, the dresser in front of his bed burst into flames.
    The woman, dazed from the sudden light and heat radiating in front of her, was immobile. She knew she had to move to protect her child, but… maybe it was better this way. She now knew for certain that her son was one of them. Infected. They would take him away from her, her precious little boy. She would never see him again. When the authorities came, she could not lie to them. They would know. She climbed into bed with him and held him in her arms. At least this way they could be together. He was crying, afraid of the flames. Stroking his blonde hair, she began to hum to him. As the fire spread, the crackling of the flames grew louder. Now she was singing as loud as she could to be heard over the noise of the burning house. Nobody was going to take him away from her. They would be together until the end.

    • Jessica permalink
      January 14, 2010 8:32 pm

      Wow, that was amazing, I cried. This line gave me goosebumps “She knew she had to move to protect her child, but… maybe it was better this way.” Along with the ending lines. Breath taking, I enjoyed.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 14, 2010 8:44 pm

      You had me at, “Then, the dresser in front of his bed burst into flames.”
      😀

      Very, very cool. I thought I was reading one kind of story, and then you surprised me with that part and the word “infected”. I can vividly see them in bed, the mother stroking her son’s hair while the flames roar around them. VERY nicely done, hon.

      If you can avoid using past perfect, I think it will give this piece even more impact. I was a terrible past perfect abuser, and I’m still amazed at what a difference such a small thing can make.

      For example;

      “Her son was moving around in his bed.”

      becomes

      “Her son moved around in his bed.”

      And;

      “Now she was singing as loud as she could to be heard over the noise of the burning house.”

      becomes

      “She sung as loud as she could to be heard over the noise of the burning house.” (eliminated the word ‘Now’ in this, too, because once you get rid of ‘was singing’, the sentence flows better without it).

      It’s such a small thing, but over the course of an entire manuscript, it can make a really big difference in overall flow.

      This is a super-intriguing premise, Travis, and you show obvious talent as a writer. Would love to see more!

      MZ

      • January 14, 2010 11:15 pm

        Thanks for the feedback Jessica and Michelle! Maybe I’ll get back to that one sometime…

    • January 15, 2010 1:49 am

      One of them? Who? Infected? By what? You’ve made me curious, especially with the dresser bursting into flames. What happened to him? What’s going on? Ahh! I need some answers. 🙂

  10. January 14, 2010 7:45 pm

    Okay, here goes.

    ——————————-
    The lights flashed more and more frequently with each passing second, dancing about the blackness like countless stars moving rapidly across an otherwise empty night sky. There were no recognisable constellations, but as the shining particles moved about a shape began to form: small, delicate.

    Human.

    It was not until the glowing apparition spoke that Leander was able to recognise it.

    “Help me, Leander,” begged the Eithne made of stars. “I don’t know where I am.” Her voice sounded tinny and from far away. “Please. I need your help.”

    Voices of shadow strangers could not compel him to speak, nor being torn to shreds by some semi-invisible monster. But the mere sight of his little sister, especially when she was lost and in obvious distress, easily drew a single word from his mouth.

    “Eithne?”

    “Leander.”

    She looked so utterly lost, forlorn and young that Leander instinctively reached out. He wanted to enfold her in his arms and comfort and protect her like he felt a big brother should, but each time he tried to touch her his hands passed straight through. Each time he tried the motion disturbed the shimmering dust particles, forcing them apart. It took a few seconds for them to reorganise themselves, taking longer each time.

    Apart from her being a shimmery, off-white colour, and made of an infinite number of visibly separate particles, it was a very good likeness. It was unnerving, really.

    “What are you doing here?”

    The Eithne made of stars fluttered her eyelids frantically and chewed on her lips; the real Eithne did the same thing whenever she was anxious and scared.

    “I don’t know,” she whispered. “Something’s happened. Something terrible.”

    • Jessica permalink
      January 14, 2010 8:07 pm

      Love this, it makes me wonder what happened. My favorite line is “Each time he tried the motion disturbed the shimmering dust particles, forcing them apart.” I can picture everything perfectly, and can imagine his desperation without you saying it.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 14, 2010 8:32 pm

      As always with your stuff, Catherine, I love this. It has a Philip Pullman feel to it, which is a compliment of the highest order; Pullman is a master storyteller.

      Even in so small a sampling, it’s incredibly atmospheric. Not easy to do in 300 words!

      Sheesh. I’m putting my money on your eventual publication. Has to be.

      MZ

      • January 14, 2010 11:36 pm

        this is very interesting. i would really like to read more of it

    • January 15, 2010 1:45 am

      This is very intriguing. I like this idea that she’s made of stars or trapped somewhere and appearing like she’s made from stars.

  11. January 14, 2010 7:35 pm

    Constructive Criticism is definitely appreciated! 🙂 And I’m sorry if this all clumps together. I haven’t gotten the hang of XHTML yet!
    ——

    She ushered me downstairs where Lissa was slipping into a pair of boots and Aunt Mary was turning off appliances. I watched all of them as they flitted around. It was as if they were leaving to go to grocery shopping, or to a dentist appointment, or to go eat at a restaurant. They busied themselves as if it were any other car trip. But it wasn’t.

    And it wasn’t until I stepped outside into the brisk air that I realized how pointless the hospital would be. There wasn’t a diagnosis on this planet that could describe what’s happening to me. There wasn’t a medication known to man that could make these things go away.

    But there was schizophrenia. There was depression. There was ADD and epilepsy. There was a vast majority of false diseases and disorders that they could slap me with, one right after the other. But they’d never get it right.

    Suddenly, the idea of going to the hospital seemed insane. I wasn’t a masochist and this seemed pretty self-harmful. It was stupid and I knew that I had to get away.

    “Climb in, sweetheart,” Mom cooed gently, opening the backdoor and gesturing me inside with her hand. I stared at her for a long moment. Why wasn’t this happening to her? She married him. She still loved him. Was I being punished for resenting him? Was that it?

    “I don’t want to go,” I whispered. I took a few steps away from the truck.

    “Polly, you have to go. You just had a pretty severe panic attack.”

    I let out a groan of frustration. “That wasn’t a panic attack! I’m fine!”

    • January 14, 2010 7:49 pm

      Wow! “There wasn’t a diagnosis on this planet that could describe what’s happening to me. There wasn’t a medication known to man that could make these things go away.” What things? What’s happening to her? What? What? Ahhh! I’m intrigued! You’ve pulled me into this story and now I want more. =)

      “But there was schizophrenia. There was depression. There was ADD and epilepsy. There was a vast majority of false diseases and disorders that they could slap me with, one right after the other. But they’d never get it right.”

      The writing is wonderful.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 14, 2010 8:23 pm

      What an incredible passage! I was IMMEDIATELY sucked into this scene. Could see it and, more importantly, FEEL what the narrator was feeling.

      And you have me wanting to know more, which is harder to do in 300 words than you might think. Truly excellent writing, Katie. Truly.

      I have very little to add here, so I’m going to be nit-picky with one tiny moment;

      “I wasn’t a masochist and this seemed pretty self-harmful.”

      I was totally feeling this voice, and then for some reason, this sentence yanked me out of the moment (though I was taken right back to it with the next one!). It feels… inauthentic, maybe? More like you and less like your character. I think it might be the words “self-harmful”, which feel clinical and less immediate like the rest of the piece. It’s such a simple fix (if you decide you want to, because only you can say what’s best for your writing), though! You could either eliminate it entirely and leave it at;

      “I wasn’t a masochist.” (that has my vote. It’s powerful on its own.)

      Or you can use another word that might feel more in keeping with the rest of your character’s voice.

      Overall, though, FANTASTIC! I hope I get the opportunity to see more of this!

      MZ

    • Jessica permalink
      January 14, 2010 8:36 pm

      This was amazing, loved the line “There was a vast majority of false diseases and disorders that they could slap me with, one right after the other. But they’d never get it right.” Really showed the frustration.

  12. January 14, 2010 7:08 pm

    A little excerpt to something I’m currently working on. I’d love constructive feedback…Eek! Thanks Michelle for this opportunity to share. You’re awesome…like a hot dog! =)

    I stare out at the Atlantic Ocean wondering if it’s as cold as it looks. Lately, I find my job difficult to do. It’s more of a burden than a joy. I suppose that’s natural. A lot of people feel disenchanted with their jobs. I’m not that special or unique.

    I wonder if the dry sand would be warm under my bare feet despite the chill in the air. I wonder what it might feel like to stand on the edge of the world, to let the ocean race up to grab at my feet, trying to pull me into its enticing, welcoming embrace with its wet and peaceful touch. The ocean looks calm and alluring. But I know it’s just an illusion. Even so, I contemplate removing my boots.

    I wonder what it feels like to drown.
    I’ll ask Sal when he shows up.

    The children are the easiest to convince to follow me, yet they are the hardest part of the job. They are, after all, innocent. Too trusting, that’s the problem. All I have to do is promise the littlest thing and they eagerly take hold of my hand. I hate how easy it is with them. Once in a while, I’d like a kid to put his foot down and tell me off. That would be refreshing.

    I’m often a mother, father, child, friend to these people. It’s how they see me. It’s how I appear to them. Sometimes, I’m just myself. I don’t like those times when they see only me. It makes me feel weak, threatening and sad. I wonder why anyone would choose to go with me when I don’t look like someone they know. It bothers me. It frustrates me. Why can’t they see what’s about to happen?

    • January 14, 2010 7:10 pm

      and you are as awesome as the bun that holds them 🙂 yay grim

      • January 14, 2010 8:53 pm

        You’re crazy, but in a totally non-straitjacket kind of way. 😉

    • January 14, 2010 7:38 pm

      Wow, so I’m not really sure what exactly was going on, but that was beautifully written! Amazing job!

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 14, 2010 8:15 pm

      Oh, wow… Danielle! This is amazing! I’m LOVING this concept, though obviously, it’s difficult to know what’s really going on in 300 words.

      But already it’s ominous with an undercurrent of sadness and futility. I sympathize with your narrator in the first paragraph and am horrified when I read on to discover he/she is obviously doing something to harm people. But then you have me back to sympathizing at the end, because the narration is so full of regret.

      I almost can’t find anything to helpful to say, but I’m going to be nit-picky since this piece is otherwise perfect!

      Two quick things (you get two because they’re TINY!);

      I wonder what it might feel like to stand on the edge of the world, to let the ocean race up to grab at my feet, trying to pull me into its enticing, welcoming embrace with its wet and peaceful touch.

      This is one of my favorite passages, and I think you can make it a TEENSY bit stronger by eliminating one or two of your descriptive words plus an extra word here and there. Also, if you avoid using a word like “might” in favor of something stronger, it will give the passage more impact.

      That would make the sentence read like this;

      I wonder what it would feel like to stand on the edge of the world, to let the ocean race up and grab my feet, trying to pull me into an enticing embrace with its peaceful touch.

      Really LOVED this! Hope to see more…

      MZ

      • January 14, 2010 8:57 pm

        Wow! Thank you so much for the kind words and the feedback, Michelle. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment, plus host this. 😉

    • Jessica permalink
      January 14, 2010 8:39 pm

      Again, I’m breathless. This line “All I have to do is promise the littlest thing and they eagerly take hold of my hand. I hate how easy it is with them,” was what got me thinking and will stick with me the most. You really leave me wondering as to what else is going on there.

  13. January 14, 2010 7:06 pm

    This is another bit from the novel I shared last week, but this is from one of the “past” portions (the bulk of the novel), when the main character is a teenager. And I’m always for constructive criticism, so feel free!
    —–

    The screaming stopped for a second and then Liz could hear feet storming up the attic stairs. She sighed and set down her pen, examining what she called her “writer’s marks”—the calluses on the side of her ring finger’s top knuckle and the inside of her thumb, and the small dents on the tips of her first and middle fingers. These marked the spots on which her pen would lay in her right hand when she was writing. These marks were particularly defined now—she had just been writing in her journal . . .

    Eva and Greg stormed into the room, ignoring the light blue curtain covering the doorway, and stood next to Liz’s desk, arms crossed.

    “Hey!” Liz cried, slamming her journal shut. “I know you’re always involved in your own drama and everything, but there’s this fantastic thing called privacy—”

    “Liz!” Eva interrupted. “Greg locked the bathroom door!”

    “We always lock the bathroom door, Eva, you know that,” Liz pointed out.

    “We lock the bathroom door when someone’s in the bathroom,” Eva breathed, leaning closer to Liz. “No one’s in the bathroom.”

    Liz looked at Greg, shocked. “You have got to be kidding me!” she yelled. “There are six of us sharing that bathroom!”

    “Seven,” Greg whispered.

    “What are you talking about?” Liz asked. “Jackie’s at college.”

    “She’s coming home today, remember?” Eva said, waving her hand dismissively. “Winter break and all that.”

    “This sucks,” Liz cried. “We don’t get out of school for another week and a half.”

    Eva snapped her fingers in front of Liz’s eyes. “Hey, Señorita Senioritis, back to the problem at hand. Bathroom. Locked. Empty. Greg’s fault.”

    Liz shot Eva a glare and swatted her hand away. “What the hell can I do about it? Go bother someone else and get out of my room.”

    With one last glare, they stormed out of Liz’s room, Eva yelling, “Oh, Mom! Guess what Greg did!”

    • January 14, 2010 7:27 pm

      this made me giggle, I wonder how Greg managed to lock the bathroom door?? and Liz sounds like a snarky character, which is always one of my favourite traits, good stuff!!

    • January 14, 2010 7:35 pm

      “She sighed and set down her pen, examining what she called her “writer’s marks”—the calluses on the side of her ring finger’s top knuckle and the inside of her thumb, and the small dents on the tips of her first and middle fingers.”
      Absolutely love this description because it 1. made me check my own hand and 2. is spot on!

      I don’t think you need the rest of that paragraph of description. I’d suggest tweaking the opening lines a bit to indicate her right hand.

      Now, I need to go back to last week’s Open Mic to see what I’ve missed.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 14, 2010 8:06 pm

      Love the witty dialog in this. It feels really natural and authentic for college-age people. Especially loved;

      “We lock the bathroom door when someone’s in the bathroom,” Eva breathed, leaning closer to Liz. “No one’s in the bathroom.”

      and

      Eva snapped her fingers in front of Liz’s eyes. “Hey, Señorita Senioritis, back to the problem at hand. Bathroom. Locked. Empty. Greg’s fault.”

      Your opening paragraph is amazingly detailed, and some of the impact of your vivid descriptions are occasionally lost in the shuffle. I SO relate to this! I see things so vividly when I write that I sometimes go overboard describing them for the reader. I’ve gotten a lot better (with my editor’s help), but it’s still a tendency of mine to over-describe. I have a feeling you “see” things like I do, but you want the important details to stand out, which means minimizing the ones people won’t miss.

      Here’s an example;

      If you tweak;

      She sighed and set down her pen, examining what she called her “writer’s marks”—the calluses on the side of her ring finger’s top knuckle and the inside of her thumb, and the small dents on the tips of her first and middle fingers.

      to;

      She sighed and set down her pen, examining her “writer’s marks” – the calluses on the side of her ring finger and inside of her thumb and the small dents on the tips of her first and middle fingers.

      You’ve only removed a couple of words, but the passage flows more freely. You don’t need “she called” because the quotes imply that she thinks of the marks as writer’s marks, and eliminating the words “top knuckle” allows the reader to read straight through without being pulled out of the narrative to try and imagine what you’re describing (though a WRITER probably wouldn’t even pause, because we all have them!).

      SUCH a great passage, though! I’d love to see more of this…

      MZ

      • January 15, 2010 12:27 am

        Thanks so much, Michelle! That “writer’s marks” description was actually a sentence that I wasn’t feeling but couldn’t figure out why. 🙂

    • Jessica permalink
      January 14, 2010 8:53 pm

      Oh, I like Liz, she sounds like a character I would be friends with, very funny.

      • January 14, 2010 11:28 pm

        it made me laugh a little. 🙂 Liz sounds funny, and witty.

      • January 16, 2010 11:27 am

        Thank you guys so much for your feedback! 🙂

  14. Jennifer Bozett permalink
    January 14, 2010 7:03 pm

    Excerpt of ‘Fallen’, a story I’m writing 🙂 Constructive criticism would be nice!

    The twins of the Burch family watched in horror as their loving parents’ eyes became blank and unseeing as the dark man that had broken-in moments before stood above them, killing them slowly.

    Ivie, the oldest of the twins, sobbed heavily, her whole body shaking with the violence of her crying; while Kylie, the younger of the two, cried silently beside her. They were the opposites of the other, but they completed each other, and were inseparable.

    The twins clasped hands and backed up against a wall and slid down next to each other. With their legs up against their chest, the girls wrapped their unoccupied arms around their legs, and continued to watch their parents’ slow and painful death.

    They recognized the man for what he was within minutes of his arrival, but Ivie and Kylie weren’t trained to banish or kill a demon. The demon was in man form, but the twins’ eyes were sharp enough to notice the signs of a demon of death: the red tint to the black pupils, and the long sharp nails that adorned every finger.

    A death demon was the kind that fed directly from the victim’s soul; slowly killing them as they ate their soul like it was a piece of candy. It was a silent, yet somehow violent happening, as that the people getting eaten didn’t shake, didn’t scream, but stood still, and was completely silent.

    The demon’s pupils dilated as he watched Ivie and Kylie’s, enjoying their fear, even if he wasn’t a demon of fear. It was then that their parents’ bodies dropped to the floor as soulless as a clay doll.

    The demon advanced on the twins, his face losing the similarity to a human as his lips stretched impossibly, and his once perfect set of normal teeth were replaced by rows of sharp, semi-transparent teeth that were more like a shark’s then a human’s. The twins’ eyes widened, and the room fell silent as their breathing stilled.

    • January 14, 2010 7:19 pm

      This is really good, and i’m really curious as to what happens to the twins, does the demon attack them, or do they manage to get away. What will the events of this night do to them if they do decide. See, you’ve got me thinking about everything that may have happened before this, and what the repercussions of this event may have on the characters, I want to read more, which is a fab thing!

      • Jennifer Bozett permalink
        January 14, 2010 7:20 pm

        Hehe thank you, if I’m on the computer next open mic night, I’m going to continue this post 😛 probably just type up the first chapter which is really short.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 14, 2010 7:19 pm

      LOVE this concept. I can feel the girl’s fear, and there are some amazing turns of phrase in here. The ones that stand out most for me include;

      “Ivie, the oldest of the twins, sobbed heavily, her whole body shaking with the violence of her crying; while Kylie, the younger of the two, cried silently beside her.”

      “…slowly killing them as they ate their soul like it was a piece of candy.” (THAT was a good one!)

      Your imagery is incredible and is only rarely broken by an awkward or cumbersome phrase. SO easy to fix!

      Here’s an example;

      Instead of; “The twins clasped hands and backed up against a wall and slid down next to each other.”

      You can streamline it to something like; “The twins clasped hands, backing up against a wall and sliding down next to each other.”

      Minimizing the use of “and” in one sentence will help everything flow a little more smoothly. But I love this! It shows great promise, and I hope you’ll come back next week!

      MZ

    • January 14, 2010 7:29 pm

      “They were the opposites of the other, but they completed each other, and were inseparable.” I really like this line. I’m a sucker for sibling stories, especially sister stories. That line reminds me of me and my sis.

      “his face losing the similarity to a human as his lips stretched impossibly, and his once perfect set of normal teeth were replaced by rows of sharp, semi-transparent teeth” Awesome visual!

      You’ve got my attention with this!

    • Jessica permalink
      January 14, 2010 8:51 pm

      Ooh, you got me at “Ivie and Kylie weren’t trained to banish or kill a demon.” One sharp turn in the story. I enjoyed this one, very well done.

    • January 14, 2010 9:44 pm

      I really like this. The twins’ fear is practically tangible. I like your descriptions as well and am eager to read more. You really sucked me into that story in just those 300 words. Keep writing!

  15. January 14, 2010 6:50 pm

    this is just a mini excerpt

    “Just give me the damn meds! I’ve told you, it hurts!” my anger boiled over and spilled from my mouth in one violent burst. I’d shocked her, her face said it all, but I was past caring.

    The worry on her face made it all worse, I knew I was being awkward and she was only trying to help, but, whatever, she was going to do as I said.. Her hand snaked out towards me, and I got a flash of a giant diamond on her wedding finger. Figures. Her smooth fingertips, light as a feather danced across my hand, her sweet voice murmuring apologies I never asked for.

    The anger was back, I didn’t want apologies, I wanted the sweet bliss of blackness, and she was going to give it to me. A rush of heat spread from the tip of my toes, to the top of my head. Like wildfire I could feel my body getting hotter and hotter the angrier I got, little lighting bolts of pain flashed through me and I began to panic. What was happening to me?

    The last thing I saw before the blackness consumed me was the pretty nurse’s eyes bugging out of her head, almost like a cartoon version of her pretty little face, despair shining out of her eyes. The last thing I heard was the nurse’s limp dead body crashing to the ground next to my bed.

    And I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse.

    Thanks for doing this Michelle!!! love these posts!

    • Ayla permalink
      January 14, 2010 6:57 pm

      wow! now THAT is cool!!!! i love the part where the nurse died! hope you get it published!

    • Jennifer Bozett permalink
      January 14, 2010 7:05 pm

      I love the way you write! I agree with Ayla, I would so read it if it got published!

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      January 14, 2010 7:12 pm

      This is sooo vivid. Raw, in a good way.

      This is my favorite phrase;

      Her smooth fingertips, light as a feather danced across my hand, her sweet voice murmuring apologies I never asked for.

      Nicely done, Carla!

      MZ

    • January 14, 2010 7:12 pm

      “Like wildfire I could feel my body getting hotter and hotter the angrier I got, little lighting bolts of pain flashed through me and I began to panic. What was happening to me?”

      Love the description in this section. I can see the wildfire spreading. Very curious (<–Look, Carla I found a different word!) about what is happening to the protag in this story.

    • January 14, 2010 8:28 pm

      Her smooth fingertips, light as a feather danced across my hand, her sweet voice murmuring apologies I never asked for.

      I really loved that line – it creates quite a visual, and says a lot in just a few words.

      Actually you have a lot of excellent descriptions and visuals here. Really paints the rawness of the situation and the emotions, and contrasts it well with the softer side of the relationship.

    • Jessica permalink
      January 14, 2010 8:49 pm

      Very well done, I enjoyed reading, and then the ending was a great twist. I could feel the character’s frustration and pain through your words. I applaud you.

    • January 14, 2010 9:42 pm

      I absolutely love your descriptions–so vivid!

      • January 14, 2010 11:22 pm

        i love how you write, and i was NOT expecting the end! i agree, i really would love to read that if it were published!

    • January 15, 2010 3:37 am

      I really enjoyed this. The descriptions pulled me into the situation straight away, giving me a clear and vivid idea of both the nurse and the patient. The best thing was that the eventual death of the nurse took me so completely by surprise. Well done!

      • January 15, 2010 8:55 am

        woah, thanks so much everyone, you have no idea how happy your comments have made me. I’m off to do a victory dance…huzzah!!!

    • Naomi permalink
      January 15, 2010 11:48 am

      Now this is just unfair 😦 I’m going to have to go through the rest of my day wondering what on earth happens next.

      So good!

Trackbacks

  1. 10 Books Of January • Catherine-Haines.com
  2. Modern Warfare Meets Twilight? « Michelle Zink

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