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Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Choice Submission


Questions for our followers
Do I start new paragraphs when new thoughts occur?
Or a new Speaker?
Such as, should I start a new paragraph whenever Anoria has internal dialog with herself?
I begin internal with a new paragraph. But it depends on the context.
In this submission, I adjusted the paragraphs according to the method I would use but this is only my opinion. Any suggestions Followers?
Also. I know I do the Adverb, Sentence thing too much
Actually not too bad.
Do you need back-story?
IMHO, you did a great job inserting backstory here.
Do you need lead up? More info on the book?
I like to guess sometimes. In this case, there is definitely a futuristic element. Sci-fi thriller? Did I guess correctly?

What follows is my crit:

“You will give me that key!” His long fingers clamped down on her upper arm yanking her off balance.
Clutching the key in her fist like a claw, just like Braedon taught her, she struck out at his eye. He saw her coming and no need to explain jerked his head back. But she managed to catch caught the edge of his cheek, gouging a ragged tear from his eye to his jaw. He cried out and dropped her arm. Anoria didn’t hesitate before spinning on her heel and tearing down the dark hallway.
Most of her movements are implied. I suggest editing much of the ‘ing’ words. 
Simplify: Anoria spun on her heel and tore down the dark hallway.
Blindly, she raced through the stone building. What the hell is this place...a goddamn castle? Pushing open doors at random She flung doors open at random until a staircase appeared behind one. she finally found one leading to a staircase.  The steps lead up. She lunged through it, throwing and threw herself up the stairs. Seconds later, she heard implied his feet hit the bottom step.
Crap. Crapcrapcrap. Greatgreatgreat
She threw her body against the first door she came to and tumbled out onto a catwalk. Into a pouring rain storm.
Of fucking course. Again, super.
Above her, the thrum of the giant brass energy coil was almost deafening and her hair scalp? started to prickled despite the rain.
This is NOT a good place to be, Anoria...
Desperate, she looked for a place to hide. The catwalk was completely empty. Solid, wet, dark stone.
Choosing a direction at random she started running seconds before the stairwell door crashed open again. Suggestion: Seconds before the stairwell door crashed open, she ran into Even through the driving rain. In the blowing wind and thrumming coil she heard him power on power-on his side-arm.
She froze.
“You know you can’t outrun this. Now. Drop the key, Anoria.”
Brilliant idea.
Slowly, she turned so she was facing him. “Shep. Long time. Nice to see you.” Keep him talking, Anoria. She held out her hands in a gesture of peace. “What could you possibly want with this rusty old key for anyway?”
She spread her arms wide to either side of her body, almost touching the low wall of the catwalk.
Damn, gonna have to move closer.
“You know perfectly well why, Anoria. Now, if you please. Kindly place the key on the ground and walk away. I’d dislike having to burn a hole in your skull.”
I’m sure. Just a little further...
Anoria inched closer to the edge of the catwalk. “So, you truly believe this silly little key can end this war?” She shifted her weight to her right hip as though she were uncomfortable and simply changing position. “This key?”
His eyes narrowed.
Damn. Caught on. Not dumb, this one. Fine. All in!

With a leap, she heaved herself at the low wall and held her arm over the edge. “THIS key? You’ll have to jump pretty far for this one, Shep.”
His eyes widened. He growled deep in his throat, grasping with his hand,I don’t understand this action. Was he reaching out instinctively with an empty hand? but it was already too late. The wind buffeted her as she held her thin body far out over the edge of the stone catwalk and forced her hand open. She had a solid four seconds of silent, slow contemplation, watching the key tumble down through the darkness. Then, a bright searing pain picked her up and threw her ten feet. Landing her against the wall, knocking her almost unconscious.Lots of ‘ing’ words here. Suggestion: Then a bright searing pain picked her up and threw her ten feet into a wall. When she was able to breathe again, she was looking stared up into the cold, grey eyes of The Shepherd. First Gatherer of the Orion’s.
Nope. Definitely Not a good place to be, Anoria.

Oh. Wow. Very cool. I stopped critiquing to read to the end. Now, dang it, it IS the end. I want more.
You’ve given me sounds and sights. Can you find a place for a smell? A moldy hallway. The hospital smell of antiseptic. An office building smells like paper and toner. An abandoned building that smells like mildew. If you give the reader a smell, they will make the connection to what kind of place this is. Don’t say, ‘smells like a hospital’. Instead, mention ‘the iodine smell bit her nose’. If you give context, it will bond with the reader and draw them into your story.


The original, uncritiqued submission:



“You will give me that key!” His long fingers clamped down on her upper arm yanking her off balance. Clutching the key in her fist like a claw, just like Braedon taught her, she struck out at his eye. He saw her coming and jerked his head back. But she managed to catch the edge of his cheek, gouging a ragged tear from his eye to his jaw. He cried out and dropped her arm. Anoria didn’t hesitate before spinning on her heel and tearing down the dark hallway.


Blindly, she raced through the stone building. What the hell is this place...a goddamn castle? Pushing open doors at random she finally found one leading to a staircase. She lunged through it, throwing herself up the stairs. Seconds later, she heard his feet hit the bottom step. Crap. Crapcrapcrap. She threw her body against the first door she came to and tumbled out onto a catwalk. Into a pouring rain storm. Of fucking course. Above her, the thrum of the giant brass energy coil was almost deafening and her hair started to prickle, despite the rain. This is Not a good place to be, Anoria... Desperate, she looked for a place to hide. The catwalk was completely empty. Solid, wet, dark stone.

Choosing a direction at random she started running seconds before the stairwell door crashed open again. Even through the driving rain, blowing wind, and thrumming coil she heard him power on his side-arm. She froze.

“You know you can’t outrun this. Now. Drop the key, Anoria.”

Brilliant idea. Slowly, she turned so she was facing him. “Shep. Long time. Nice to see you.” Keep him talking, Anoria. She held out her hands in a gesture of peace. “What could you possibly want this rusty old key for anyway?” She spread her arms wide to either side of her body, almost touching the low wall of the catwalk. Damn, gonna have to move closer.

“You know perfectly well why, Anoria. Now, if you please. Kindly place the key on the ground and walk away. I’d dislike having to burn a hole in your skull.”

I’m sure. Just a little further... Anoria inched closer to the edge of the catwalk. “So, you truly believe this silly little key can end this war?” She shifted her weight to her right hip as though she were uncomfortable and simply changing position. “This key?”

His eyes narrowed. Damn. Caught on. Not dumb, this one. Fine. All in! With a leap, she heaved herself at the low wall and held her arm over the edge. “THIS key? You’ll have to jump pretty far for this one, Shep.”

His eyes widened. He growled deep in his throat, grasping with his hand, but it was already too late. The wind buffeted her as she held her thin body far out over the edge of the stone catwalk and forced her hand open. She had a solid four seconds of silent, slow contemplation, watching the key tumble down through the darkness. Then, a bright searing pain picked her up and threw her ten feet. Landing her against the wall, knocking her almost unconscious. When she was able to breathe again, she was looking up into the cold, grey eyes of The Shepherd. First Gatherer of the Orion’s. Nope. Definitely Not a good place to be, Anoria.

14 comments:

Come At Me Bro said...

This is great!

Alicia C. said...

Thank you so much for the help! Close on the genre. Actually it's Steampunk, set in the 1920's. Futuristic-ish.

I was so worried about the adverb/sentence issue I wasn't watching my 'ing' words. I will watch that...EDIT! Also...yes. Smells. HA! It's funny..as I was editing it..and trying to keep it under 800 words..:) The stuff that kept getting cut because it was deemed not necessary to the excerpt was stuff like what you're talking about. "The musty smell of old uniforms stored wrong..." "Badly cleaned surgical tools..." That sort of thing. I didn't realize I'd cut out 'smell' entirely! Note to self: don't do all editing at 1am! :)

Ok. I'm glad you enjoyed it! And again...thank you all for any input! Greatly appreciated.

Oh..forgot to mention...on the uncritiqued version, the top paragraph accidentally got left off in the post.
Thank you!

Huntress said...

ACK. Sorry. *fixing* Now, all better.

'musty smell of old uniforms' is EXCELLENT.

*smacks forehead* Holy cow, I sure missed the genre.

Alicia C. said...

That's ok..I don't worry about it. Steampunk is a sub-genre of a sub-genre I think :) PLUS, unless you have all the cues like the tesla coils, or the nifty gadgets they come up with..or it says "Steampunk" on the cover. :) I should throw in a dirigible!

Charity Bradford said...

I really enjoyed this too. Huntress hit everything that I saw. Would love to read more of this.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Very helpful. Huntress is extremely talented. Amazing even.

Angela Brown said...

I'm a big time abuser of -ing endings so I can understand your concern with your submission. Thank you, first of all, for allowing this to be shared. Also, Huntress touched on how to best adjust some of the words so they are more active, less passive. That seemed the main thing to catch my attention. Why I can see this so well with others's works but miss them in my own is such a bother. Good luck with this!!

Huntress said...

I wear the Ing crown of overuse. In my wips, it escapes my attention every time.

Thank Heavens my CPs and Betas are there to save my sorry rump.

Huntress said...

You are very kind. But loving what I do makes critiquing a treat. I am honored by the people who allow me to read their Babies.

So much talent is out there. It is simply overwhelming.

Alicia C. said...

I'm glad people are enjoying it! First time Anoria has seen the light of day. And yah. I can see the active/passive with others works much easier then my own. So frustrating. I'll submit my first chapter the next time you do one of those challenges...see what shakes loose with that. Though I think I'm going to go over it with a fine tooth 'ING' comb first...

Alicia C. said...

Thanks! I'll keep my eyes open for the next time you guys do a "First Chapter" challenge!

Vicki Orians said...

Wow - this was fantastic!! I totally want to read more.

And as for the critique, I was amazed at how just a few simple word changes/structure changes made it jump off the page. I think I'm going to have to take a closer look at my book! lol

mshatch said...

Really liked this! And Huntress' crits were right on in my opinion.

Pk Hrezo said...

Nice work on the crits! Very helpful! And such an exciting snippet!