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Thursday Night Write – Open Mic

July 15, 2010

Time for another edition of Open Mic!

Same rules apply; post your writing excerpt of 300 words or less for comment. It can be a piece of anything – a letter, a poem, a novel or short story.

Remember to ask for constructive criticism if you want it, because a lot of people (including me!) won’t offer it unless it’s solicited. And if you’d rather not, that’s fine, too! We all have weeks with our writing when we’re just not up to criticism and need simple encouragement instead.


Don’t forget to comment at least one other post if you leave on of your own, this way we can continue to foster the incredibly supportive, encouraging writing community we have here.

Happy Writingggg!

27 Comments leave one →
  1. FlaglineGeek permalink
    July 16, 2010 4:47 pm

    This is a continuation of what I did from the previous Open Mic Night. Sorry it’s a little late. Recap (this is from the beginning, 1st chapter): Sarah and Lace are waiting for a plane. They are stuck traveling together, even after Lace caught Sarah kissing her crush Jason. Constructive criticism/comments welcome.

    I remember walking up the steps of Sarah’s house. I was wearing a tight red dress, which was part of our plan to help me attract Jason. Sarah greeted me at the door. She said ‘Hi,’ then told me how ‘adorably sexy’ Jason looked in his pin-striped dress shirt. I smiled, imagining how he’d look. Sarah took my arm, and led me to the appetizers, pointing at Jason, who stood in the corner, looking adorable as she’d described.

    An hour later, after some kids brought out alcohol—Sarah’s reason for Jason coming on to her—I walked by them kissing. At first, I didn’t recognize her. I figured I’d just missed my chance on Jason, and someone got to him first. I never thought, after looking closer, I’d see my best friend’s lips locked with his. My heart broke. “Sarah?!” I yelled, voice cracking. Jason pulled away at my scream, but had no clue why I was shouting. Tears began to form in my eyes, and he stared at me in confusion. Sarah’s face only looked blank. “I’m sorry,” she managed, but I was already leaving.

    “Now boarding rows twenty-five through twenty for flight four-three-five.” A lady’s voice over an intercom breaks my reverie.

    “That’s us,” Sarah whispers. I know. I’m the only holding the tickets. But I don’t say any of that, I just stand up, grab my carry-on, and walk to the counter. She follows suit, having no choice. “Here’s your ticket,” I say, practically slapping the slip of paper into her hand.

    After we give our tickets to the trim, brown-haired lady, we start down the hallway, and enter the plane. Our seats are 22 A and B. By the time we reach the back of the plane, an old creepy man is already seated in 22 C. Great. “Uh, excuse us,” Sarah says, being polite as possible, but I know she’s cringing because she’ll be sitting in 22 B.

  2. July 16, 2010 4:36 am

    Here’s a little bit I wrote this morning, for TCG. I haven’t gone over it (save for spelling), so what you see is what came straight out.


    A cool night breeze brushed past Tearlag, playing with her loose red curls. Her feet were planted firmly in the middle of the road, although one foot occasionally tapped out the seconds. Patience was not one of her virtues, though it was something she was having to develop through the years of watching after Aurora.

    Now was one of those chances for development, as she waited for the carriage to return to the Darrow’s. She cared little for both occupants, but she had to speak with one. Those were her orders.

    How she actually got the carriage to stop so she could speak with the cook was all on her, and Tearlag had a flair for the dramatic.

    Which was why when the carriage came around the corner, Tearlag did not move. Two horses and a heavy wooden carriage could easily kill a person should they let themselves be run over, but Tearlag had no intention of letting that happen.

    The coachman spotted the girl standing in the middle of the road, continuing to stand as they came closer. If she was not going to move, then he was going to have to stop. But even as he pulled sharply on the reins he knew he was far too close.

    Tearlag smiled. “Stop.” If there ever was an order, this was it.

    In a physics-defying instant, the carriage came to a complete stop. The coachman stayed in his seat, mouth open and eyes closed, afraid to see the damage that was done. In front of him the horses whinnied and panicked, knowing that something was strange about the girl, but not what it was that unsettled them.

    Oh, and Guardian arrived today. It has been read. I had fun spotting all the clues. XD

    • July 16, 2010 9:54 am

      I like how Tearlag has lack of patience. For me, it sort of defines? if that’s the word, her strangeness. That and how she’s standing in the middle of the road XD
      Your details are good & bad. Good because it lets the readers know the surroundings, etc. etc. -Is this the beginning of the story?-
      Bad because if it’s NOT the beginning, it’s kind of a drag. -Sorry if I’m acting heartless!- I like details, personally, but inner chatter stabs me over and over again, leaving me in the desert to rot.
      Also, it’s a bit choppy, but that’s understandable. You just wrote it =D
      Otherwise, me likey! Can you send me some more of it?

    • FlaglineGeek permalink
      July 16, 2010 4:49 pm

      I really like this. Tearlag’s lack of patience but willingness to stand in the middle of the road really tells me about her. I like knowing little things like that about a character. Well done!

  3. July 16, 2010 2:16 am

    Constructive criticism ftw! A bit from Darkened Light, just finished it in May =D
    Tap, tap, breath. Tap, tap, breath.
    It was the beat of a war drum, warning everything in the forest of my existence and maybe hummed of danger other than my own presence. I didn’t dwell on this thought for very long.
    The crisp autumn wind blew across my face; my own punishment for leaving the foster home without more belongings. I was ready at a moment’s notice, but I was still shivering or sweating if the weather wasn’t what I expected.
    It always started like this, running from one city to another, to make sure that he didn’t strike there. If he didn’t, I’d scribble a note, giving my dearest apologizes. Since no one tried to follow me, I would usually guess that they didn’t even notice I was gone.
    In the running adventure that I endured every few months, I was a different person than my usually quiet self. I would constantly lash out at everything that made the smallest of sounds, thinking that he found me. Always yelling out and if the nightmares came that night, I’d start sobbing uncontrollably for days to come, wishing for the old days with Adrian before he was possessed by the demon that was after the Dragistins for generations.
    Well, not exactly generations, I thought, slowing down my pace as I saw a smooth-barked oak tree that I could rest against for a minute if not a couple of seconds.
    It all started when one person from the Dragistins got this demon very, very mad…or something like that. There were different stories circulating around the whole idea, but the one I took faith in was the medieval tale, the one were an ancestor of the Dragistins had a death match with the demon…

    • FlaglineGeek permalink
      July 16, 2010 4:52 pm

      Very interesting idea. I like knowing the back story, and even though it’s telling info, it doesn’t feel forced or (for lack of a better word, no offense) boring. It’s actually the opposite.

  4. GalazzoBoy permalink
    July 16, 2010 1:21 am

    This is an excerpt from a WIP that’s been coming in pieces here and there- hopefully it’ll merge with the other pieces soon into an actual storyline. All constructive criticism and critiquing is welcome.

    (Note: this is set in a kind of futuristic, anti-establishment era)

    Silence, followed by the straining of ears. Government agents stood, watching, frozen in place; they waited for a sound, any detectable sign. Nothing dared to move but the helo, lurking and hovering above the building’s roof.
    Snipers sat, with their eyes fixated on nearby windows; sharp blue lazers were now trained on every concievable entrance or exit to Luther’s hideout.
    “You have 30 seconds,” the gruff, angry voice of the megaphone sounded for the second time.
    A rustling sound, nothing more than the footsteps of field mice across a wooden floor, came from the fifth floor of Luther’s dirty brick factory building. The rustling ceased, and a small oragami bird made of yellowed old paper floated to the ground.
    Leo, a young chief of police, stood at six feet, two inches, and bore muddy brown eyes. He walked quickly towards the small paper bird. Several of his attendants- dressed in the standard midnight blue uniform and cap- followed close behind. The chief wore an expression of triumph, plucking the oragami piece up off the ground. It unfolded smoothly, almost on its own, opening at the top of the bird’s back and widening as the sides flattened into a single rectangular sheet. Upon reading the neatly-printed message, the chief’s triumphant grin warped into a viscious snarl.
    The chief through the paper angrily at the ground, infuriated by the pungency of its simple words. Through gritted teeth, he shot orders to his attendants. “Don’t let Luther escape again! Clear the building. Shoot anything that moves.” The message ran frantically through the static of the radios, into the earpieces of the snipers perched in their windows and the helo operators floating above everyone.
    Among the bustling soldiers on the ground, the note lay face-up, with three words in boldface, standing out against the weathered yellow paper- “It Lives On”.

    • July 16, 2010 1:08 pm

      Hmmm,this intrigued me. I want to know what lives on. You write really well, I honestly felt like i was there, really great job!

  5. Jana permalink
    July 16, 2010 12:27 am

    I awoke in my dorm room, or at least it looked like my dorm room. Only it was colder, icicles decorated the ceiling, snow like a blanket on the ground.
    “Beautiful, isn’t it?” a cold voice spoke. “I designed it just for you.”
    I stared at William. Fear coursing through me so strongly, it was crippling. I killed William when he turned into a Caliga, I watched him die. Or so I thought.
    “Cat got your tongue?” he purred as he started walking toward me.
    I tried to move, but my feet seemed rooted into the ground. I brought my face down and gasped, ice encased my legs up to the knee. I watched with wide eyes as it began slowly creeping up my leg, I tried to scream, but my mouth wouldn’t open.
    “It’s a funny thing ice.” William whispered, “As long as it’s below freezing, it can cover just about anything.” I felt his cold breath on my neck as he chuckled.
    I felt a chill go down my spine, somehow his breath was even colder than the air.
    The ice was at my elbows now, and still climbing.
    “But you’d know all about ice, since you can control it.” His tone sounded almost…proud. I hoped I just imagined it. “Not many people can control it. Not even good old Vlad Knight.” he sneered his name.
    I found my voice, “Don’t you DARE speak his name, traitor.”
    He threw his head back and laughed, the sound made my stomach turn and bile rise into my throat.
    He looked at me in the eye, all the humor gone, replaced by a menacing atmosphere. “Don’t do anything to upset me, Lilah.”
    I tried looked down, but couldn’t, the ice was at my chin. I spoke, only because I didn’t have much time left.
    “You told me you would let me go, and take me out of your world! WHY WON’T YOU LEAVE ME ALONE?!”
    His eyes had a flicker of humor in them, for a second I thought I saw the old William. “Why love…you ARE out of my world!”
    He brought his hand up and the ice shattered, and pierced my skin. I let out a cry and fell to my knees, clutching my wounds.
    I looked up, only to find my room to be exactly how I’d left it. No ice, no snow…no William. I brought my face down to inspect my body, my eyes widening. I was completely unharmed.
    I slapped my hand over my mouth to muffle the sobs that were threatening to escape my throat. I was never going to get used to this.

    • Jana permalink
      July 16, 2010 12:27 am

      Oh yeah! Critiques are welcome!!

  6. July 15, 2010 10:10 pm

    Any comments and/or critiqing welcome, whatever you guys wanna say…


    I’ve been thinking about
    you alot lately,
    but instead of clinging to your memory,
    I’m clinging to harsh reality.
    It feels safer to do, except for the doubts.

    Doubts of what I should
    have done, what I could
    have done. If anything.
    Because doing something,
    could have ment everything.

    • GalazzoBoy permalink
      July 16, 2010 1:35 am

      Just wanted to say that the last three lines really caught my eye.
      The procession of “anthing/something/everything” really had a strong effect on the piece. Good job!

    • mak...XD permalink
      July 16, 2010 9:21 am

      wooooooooooowwwwwwww…..this was AMAZING. and i do agree with that last comment. is this person afraid to take risks? i am a person to take my risks but i know my limits so i’m not a great fan of pieces about people who do not take these chances. but for you to write a piece that will make me just go “wow” was fantastic!!

      • July 16, 2010 1:04 pm

        Thanks GalazzoBoy and mak! But no, the person isnt afraid to take chances, though it could be interupted that way… No, I’d been thinking about my aunt alot lately, I’m not really sure why, and this just started spinning free in my head on the way to drivers ed the other day. Its about me- among others- wondering if we could have done anything. Why we didnt notice (even though there may not have been anything to notice.) … Thank yall for your commments

  7. mak...XD permalink
    July 15, 2010 9:33 pm

    i’m starting a new book!!! michelle, i think i told you abt it already…. well…here’s the beginning!!! comments and critiquing…be as harsh as possible…thank you!!!

    My roommate, Claire, had snuck out…again. I knew the truth about our parents’ past. My mother and her father were soulmates. Two people who are destined to love no one else in the universe apart from each other. The pairings are chosen before birth by God and His angels. Claire, who is unfamiliar to our blood relations, is my fraternal, twin sister. She also has a deep hatred towards me, her gothic and “emotionally disturbed” counterpart.
    My mother gave me her journal on the very night that she had died. She had warned me to never let my non-biological father to find it. His name was Daniel. My mother’s name was Ester. She was a very strong and intelligent woman. Very independent. Ester was also exceedingly stubborn. While she refused assistance from individuals in her life, she insisted on giving help to these similar persons. Her slogan was, ‘If you want things to be done right, you have to do it yourself’. She did everything at home while Daniel and his mother lazed around. Yes, my so called grandmother lived with us. She detested my mother and I, and my non- biological father was a “mama’s boy”. He would never listen to my mother, but when his mother mockingly repeated what Ester had said, he would then half-way do the task. A simple thing such as rinsing out the dishes often meant leaving plates and cutlery to soak in a clogged sink.
    By the age of six, I had loaned my stressed mother an extra pair of hands. She no longer asked Daniel for help. If I recall correctly, and I am sure the dates are accurate, it was September the 6th, 2000, exactly three months prior to to my seventh birthday that my mother had had enough. She packed her things, along with mine, in the middle of the night and attempted to run away with me. But we got caught. Daniel’s mother was awake…waiting for us. She crooned to us and said that it was not part of the deal. I was confused, but smart enough not to ask. I knew that secrets, no matter how few, were going to be revealed that night.

    • July 15, 2010 9:49 pm

      I’m extremely looking forward to this!! 😀 … im just sayin’..

  8. July 15, 2010 8:42 pm

    i’m baaaaaaaaaaaaack!
    haven’t been around in a few weeks, got into a spot of trouble but it’s all sorted out now! i’ve also been putting in overtime at work because we did a major renovation and i had to work nights and days >.< anywhoo, here's something that i wrote two months ago or so and haven't gotten the chance to post. or atleast, i hope i haven't posted it, haha. so here you go, enjoy!


    because i’m nothing more than

    the texture of paint and neutral shades of white and gray and black and the snapshot sound of a photograph taken in the shadows cast by a dying sun and a splash of colour here and there, the ones lucky enough to escape being blotted out by a pair of black chucks and tapered earrings.

    i’m nothing more than

    fake promises uttered on a dock under a full moon at twilight and the trust from a known cheater, someone who’s never happy with what she already has, someone whose eyes never can linger on just one person for more than five minutes.

    i’m nothing more than

    studded belts and silver rings and stretched ears, reading sick love stories about schizophrenic nuns and used-up human torches, revelling in the disgusting details of his recovery and her belief that she’s seven hundred years old.

    i’m nothing more than

    a girl who never wants to grow up, clutching at her green monster-under-the-bed in an attempt to stay seven forever when she’s really seventeen, but who really counts the one anyway? i may be able to drive our souped-up truck on the freeway, and will be graduating shortly, but there’s nothing i’d like better than to curl up with mister sixarmedandgrinningwildly as we watch disney movies in a rainstorm.

    no matter how tight your rough hands grip my shoulders or how hard you shake me, tears in your eyes, i’ll just stare up at you with a grim expression and locked-up teeth, so please quit searching for anything else.

    i don’t want to disappoint you, i just don’t want you to know how fake i really am. i’m not some plastic chick who’s looking for a good lay, i’m not the smart girl that everyone thinks i am. i’m the girl who clutches at her camera in an attempt to capture the present before it becomes the past, before it becomes just another memory.

    because i’m nothing more than me.

    • July 15, 2010 9:55 pm

      i truely, absolutely love this! Especially the last paragraph. The imagery, the details you use, its all just amazing!! It’s sad, but it feels utterly… real, and i can relate to it in a couple different places. Just, AMAZING job!!! :]

    • FlaglineGeek permalink
      July 16, 2010 5:00 pm

      I always LOVE your pieces! This is so raw and emotional, and so, so real. Just amazing!

  9. July 15, 2010 8:25 pm

    This is the opening scene from a new YA novel–let me know what you think… 🙂 (Critism is something I take very well, lovelies.)

    I still had nightmares. Vicious, horrible nightmares that left me hoarse from screaming, nightmares that in the morning light, I refused to discuss or even acknowledge. I knew, part of me knew, they were killing my parents. And I hated it.

    But I couldn’t stop them, no more then I could talk about the cause behind them. On the nights that he stayed outside my room, sang me awake in the darkest parts of my fear, those nights the nightmares weren’t so bad. Those nights, I could fall asleep again and not lie awake for hours remembering everything that had happened-everything they did.

    The days were almost worse. The days, I pretended nothing had changed. That I was still what I appeared-a spoiled, doted upon daughter of the Clayton media empire. The darling of her powerful father, the good daughter.

    Life wasn’t that black and white-not anymore. I wasn’t that somewhat shallow creature who was content with her books and work and stories.

    In reality, I doubt I ever had been-if I were, would I have been with Harry at all? Harry who scarred my body with his cold abuse and scarred my soul with those two horrific weeks I still couldn’t talk about.

    I was different. Everyone could see it, everyone understood-without any true understanding. I was skittish, short tempered, unforgiving.

    I was miserable.

    And I missed Philip. So much it took my breath away, I missed my gruff, dear friend. Walking into the Phonebooth, the one safe haven, I felt a bittersweet pain-it was a constant reminder, a living memento to the friend who had sacrificed everything for me.

    The Pride had ceded the city to Lance and his Flock, and I ruled the Conclave. I lived in a smoky in-between: not of the mortal world, not comfortable in the NearWorld. I had seen too much to go back to my ignorant bliss-or to ever be truly comfortable.

  10. July 15, 2010 7:23 pm

    I’m back from the dead! Okay, not really, but writer’s block has kept me away from writing and my computer. That, and I had to catch up on school work. Anyway, I’m posting my favorite part of the new intro my WIP that I’m in the stage of rewriting. I’d love contrustive criticism because all my friend said about the new intro was that it was “awesometastic”. Okay, done rambling. 🙂 Oh, and the main character’s name is Tait.
    Mortals could not comprehend that I had exceeded their lifespan by several thousands of years. They’d search for the logical reasoning and when they found none, they’d dismiss it as a hoax. I had been that way once; long, long ago, when I was a mortal back in Japan, I too would not accept that there were those who could and would live forever—until I became one, that is.
    Logic is a human’s best friend, but there is more magic than logic in this world and they simply refuse to acknowledge that there is not logic in everything. Though I have met a small handful of humans who do believe in magic, sometime’s their explanations are far from correct.
    Immortals—those that live forever, have the power to do so, or are not like any human that roams the Earth—have attempted to explain how everything really works to small groups of people in the past and the result was never what we wanted. They usually went insane, killed themselves trying to become us, or were condemned to death for spouting their mouths to the wrong people at the wrong time.
    Mortals envy us. They think that living forever would be a prize, something to look forward to, and sometimes it is, but other times, I’ve wondered what it’d be like to be mortal again. To embrace logic like a very close friend, to never let it go, and if it did leave, to chase it down and make sure it’d never leave me again. Of course, if I did make a step to become mortal, I’d die in a split second. My body is kept young at sixteen only by the effects of vampirism and that alone; to take it away with animal’s blood would kill me—literally.

    • July 15, 2010 8:28 pm

      I like it, but I’m a little confused. Which could be simply because I only read a brief snippet–I’m sure I’d understand better if I read more.
      I’d like to see more on your take on vamps–they’re always difficult to do well and differently, considering how many people do them.
      I like the voice of the narrator–it’s very compelling. Good work, dear! 🙂

    • FlaglineGeek permalink
      July 16, 2010 5:04 pm

      I really like this! Though it’s hard for vampires to sound unique, yours does. I’d love to see more.

  11. July 15, 2010 7:00 pm

    I’m ALWAYS up for constructive criticism. Lay it on me! Here’s a freshly written piece from my WIP “Ollie.” 🙂

    “I can hear you moving around in there. Open the freaking door.”

    He argued with himself, rummaging around in his head for all reason and logic at why she would be here. At his apartment. His brain was still stinging with intoxication, but he could remember what he had said to her on the telephone just hours ago. Why she had hung up and why he had told himself that he’d probably never hear from her again.

    So why was she here, at his god damned apartment?

    He winced when she began pounding on the door again. This time, her knocks were annoyingly persistent; her knuckles rasping against the wood in a melodic pattern that sounded a lot like ‘Pop Goes The Weasel.’ He hobbled to door and whipped it open, catching her mid-knock.

    He was so used to seeing in her that vibrant shade of yellow that it shocked him to see her sporting a black hoody instead. The darkness of the hood that was locked tightly around her head clashed almost alarmingly with the paleness of her skin and white blonde hair. Rings of purple surrounded her eyes, barely concealing the twinge of red that lined the lids. He gulped. She looked horrible. Sick. And after meeting her gaze, he knew that she had come to the same conclusion about him as well.

    “Are you going to let me in? I’m not a vampire, I don’t need an invitation. But it’d be nice,” she hedged, rocking back on the heels of her sneakers. He quickly tried to shake the alcohol out of his system as he stepped away and let this girl, possibly the first girl since Heather, into his apartment.

    • July 15, 2010 8:31 pm

      Intriguing. I’d like to know more about her sickness-and they’re fight, or whatever. I like the tone, and the thought process. In fact the only thing I didn’t like was the ‘open the freaking door.’ And that’s a picky personal thing–it probably works wonderfully for your style and writing.
      Great work! 🙂

      • July 15, 2010 10:02 pm

        i love this story line… I feel like it may have back-tracked…? but my memory also could just be failing me… either way, it was awesome!! i’m looking forward to more

    • FlaglineGeek permalink
      July 16, 2010 5:09 pm

      I love this story line. It’s very unique, and I love how you drop subtle hints (like her illness; want to know more). But I kind of want to know more exact details. I feel like it’s time for some concrete knowledge, but other than that, I really like it.

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