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  1. Rayne Hall's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Post your assignments here, please

    The actual assignments are in the other thread. Read them there.

    Then post your assignments here. This way, I can see them at a glance can make sure that I critique them all.

    Thanks.

    Rayne
    Last edited by Rayne Hall; September 29th, 2012 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Clarifying my instructions, since people seem to have misunderstood them.
  2. #2

    Default Assignment - Fatherdragon1

    This is an excerpt of my work in process, adjusted to fit word limit.

    ****

    The Seer observed Aryan intently. “Kathy’s death might be your strongest motivation to pass Agni’s test and become his top warrior but Agni didn’t kill her. As much as it hurts, you have to admit the god summoned you before all this happened.”
    Aryan’s nostrils flared. “Are you blaming me?”
    “No. You are,” the elder man pressed a hidden mechanism on the stone wall right before them. A secret door groaned open, revealing a dark passage.
    Aryan wrinkled his nose and rubbed it with his hand. The stench of death was strong but he didn’t know if it came from the passage or it was the same that was impregnated on his clothes, on his skin, and inside his nose. The one seared in his brain.
    “Agni waits for you,” the Seer motioned his hand towards the passage. “Don’t be afraid.”
    Aryan’s cheeks flushed. He thrust his chest out and raised his chin. “I feel many things alright, but none of them is fear.”
    Being taller than the standard Indian men, Aryan had to crook his back and lower his head to keep from hitting the ceiling as he entered.
    The Seer took one last glance around before the secret door shut behind them. Aryan halted when everything became pitch black. He felt the Seer’s hand on his arm, prompting him to walk.
    “I can’t see anything,” the young man advanced carefully. The ground felt too soft and uneven under his feet.
  3. Patricia Bates's Avatar
    Reading: Kresley Cole
    Just Finished Reading: Dark Needs at Nights Edge by Kresley Cole
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    #3

    Default

    “Do not dawdle, Una, our time grows short.” Harsh, bitter,
    Anagor’s voice scraped along her nerves as she hurried through the
    stone corridor. The heavy cloak she wore hid the shimmering fabric of
    her priestess robes, but did little to battle the cold soaking
    through to her flesh.



    “’Tis cold, this place we are being sent.” Una shivered and
    ducked beneath a heavy beam. Her hand pressed against the icy stone
    as she struggled to maintain her balance on the uneven ground.



    “You may think so.” Anagor’s sneer pricked at the ready temper
    she’d struggled to control. Biting her lip, she kept the sharp
    retort to herself. Glancing up, her gaze fell on the open doorway and
    she stumbled. Shock ripped through her along with the icy chill.



    Snow slapped at the ground, swirling in a maelstrom of white. It blew
    through the portal into the opening piling around her sandal clad
    feet. Teeth chattering she rubbed at her arms as Anagor stepped back,
    reaching for her cloak, all but shoving her into the freezing air.


    “Duty does not wait for one who whines.” He snapped, his grip
    tightening around her arm. Bitter winds lashed at her dress,
    whipping the fabric around her legs. Her cheeks and toes burned, fog
    formed in front of her with every breath. Skin tightened, prickles of
    heat dancing along the surface.


    “My lord, I would hurry, but this wind. It is so cold. I fear I’ll
    freeze.”
  4. Rayne Hall's Avatar
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    #4

    Default

    Yay, the first assignment has arrived! Thanks, Patricia, for being the first and leading the way.

    Overall, this is fine. You've used the sense of temperature to great effect to pull the reader into the PoV's experience.

    You could make more of the portal itself. In the current version, it gets a bit lost. I believe passing through the portal is actually an important moment, so make the most of it. Consider adding a couple more sentences describing the portal.

    I have a suggestion for your writing style. If you're not interested, just ignore it.

    This excerpt contains a lot of words ending with "ing" (present participles, gerunds and so on). I don't know whether you've done this deliberately for artistic reasons (which I'm too thick to grasp) or whether they just crept into your writing without you noticing.

    I've used Find&Replace to show you visually how many ingingings this short section contains. If you didn't mean to use quite so many, consider eliminating some, perhaps by using Simple Past Tense.

    >“Donot dawdle, Una, our time grows short.” Harsh, bitter,
    Anagor’svoice scraped along her nerves as she hurried through the
    stonecorridor. The heavy cloak she wore hid the shimmerING****** fabricof
    herpriestess robes, but did little to battle the coldsoakING******
    throughto her flesh.
    “’Tiscold, this place we are beING****** sent.” Una shivered and
    duckedbeneath a heavy beam. Her hand pressed against the icy stone
    asshe struggled to maintain her balance on the uneven ground.
    Youmay think so.” Anagor’s sneer pricked at the ready temper
    she’dstruggled to control. BitING****** her lip, she kept the sharp
    retortto herself. GlancING****** up, her gaze fell on the open doorwayand
    shestumbled. Shock ripped through her along with the icy chill.
    Snowslapped at the ground, swirlING****** in a maelstrom of white. Itblew
    throughthe portal into the openING****** pilING****** around her sandalclad
    feet.Teeth chatterING****** she rubbed at her arms as Anagor steppedback,
    reachING******for her cloak, all but shovING****** her into the freezING******air.
    Dutydoes not wait for one who whines.” He snapped, hisgrip
    tightenING******around her arm. Bitter winds lashed at her dress,
    whippING******the fabric around her legs. Her cheeks and toes burned, fog
    formedin front of her with every breath. Skin tightened, prickles of
    heatdancING****** along the surface.
    Mylord, I would hurry, but this wind. It is so cold. I fearI’ll
    freeze.”<

    I hope this helps a bit.

    Rayne
  5. TarynElliott's Avatar
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    #5

    Typing Suspended, WIP

    A tiny bit of background--Shane just found out some information about his best friend and his father that has him pissed off. He's been stewing and drinking alone for at least a half hour.
    ~~~~~


    She sighed and climbed the stairs. The house was silent. The carpeting muffled her footfalls as she reached the landing. The first room’s door was cracked open, but the lights were off. The dull scrape of glass over wood made her pause. She could hear the low crash of surf from an open window.

    She pushed the door a little wider. “Shane?”

    Her eyes adjusted to the dim light. An ivory panel fluttered around the sliding door. There was just enough moonlight to show the half empty bottle of liquor and heavy tumbler with a shot’s worth of amber liquor inside sitting on the desk. She moved into the room, closing the door behind her.

    “Sure you want to do that, babe?”

    She followed his voice out the door and gripped the door jamb, stepping back into the room. The balcony was glass and steel like the rest of the house. The ocean roared beneath them as the tide battered the rocks spitting spray into the night. Moonlight shimmered across the breakers--wild and beautiful like the man who leaned against the railing. Dress pants hung low along his tapered waist and his dress shirt and undershirt was long gone.

    “Shane, why don’t you come inside?”

    “Why don’t you come out here?”

    The Social Media Esssplosion
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  6. Rayne Hall's Avatar
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    #6

    Default

    Hi Taryn,

    Excellent! You really nailed the assignment. The way you slowed the pace while she opens the door and enters really raises the suspense high.

    This can be especially effective if later in the scene, the pace switches to fast action.

    I have one other thought for you. It may not be relevant, I'll just mention it. Your character sighs at the beginning of this excerpt. Although there's no rule forbidding sighs ;-) don't allow her to sigh too much. Sighing characters tend to come across as weaklings and the readers quickly lose respect for them. In real life, people who sigh all the time quickly get on other people's nerves, and this can happen in fiction too. I recommend allowing your heroine to sigh once in the book; only you can know if this is the most sigh-worthy situation. :-)

    Rayne
  7. #7

    Default Night Fright - part of scene/gloria

    Alan moved quickly, rounded the counter and reached forward as they both neared the booth and opened the door. Squeezing past the mechanic, his arm stretched across to the phone. He pulled the door half-closed, began dialling and spoke quickly to the person on the line. Anna stood as near to the half-closed door as she dared, but heard only the soft murmur of his voice, his words muffled against the receiver. The thud of her heart raced against ribs held tense. He hadn’t called the police; he’d pretended…he was playing a game…who was he talking too? Alan put the phone down and walked out of the small booth his voice echoing in the silence.

    ‘Let’s get back, they’ll be leaving the station and waiting to question us.’

    Avoiding his eyes, Anna struggled for words, anything, anything that would keep her at the garage. ‘ I’ll wait here.’

    ‘I can’t leave you here. What about your car?’ Alarm grew, painted his face, and filled his blue eyes with fierceness.



    Anna tried delaying, ‘I need the washroom…won’t be a sec…’ and darted for the dingy door marked -- Ladies.

    He shouted after her, his voice terse, ‘Better be quick, I’ll be waiting outside,’ and walked towards the exit door.

    A car door slammed, she heard the faint roar of an engine starting and thought of Alan, waiting for her. Silent, standing in the washroom before the cracked mirror she wondered what to do next. Should she go back with him? Shivering at the thought she left the washroom, scarcely able to control her shaking legs as she moved slowly across the empty space towards the exit. Where was the mechanic? He must be near; he might be able to help her. Anna grimaced as she saw the cleared counter, felt the eerie stillness of the one-story building now shrouded in darkness. She was alone.

    Outside the sky was starry, the car engine still running, a distant drone in the still night. Anna hesitated, walked towards it. Alan lay across the steering wheel, blood streaming from the side of his head. The scream reached her throat; stayed, held there by frozen terror as her thoughts vied with her pounding heartbeats. Shock paralysed, snatched at her breath, held her in its grip.

  8. Rayne Hall's Avatar
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    #8

    Default

    Hi Glory 123,
    I'm afraid I don't get it. Where is she walking through a doorway on her way to danger? The only doors mentioned are ones that she either doesn't enter or don't lead to danger.
    Would you like to have another go?
    Rayne
  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rayne Hall View Post
    Hi Glory 123,
    I'm afraid I don't get it. Where is she walking through a doorway on her way to danger? The only doors mentioned are ones that she either doesn't enter or don't lead to danger.
    Would you like to have another go?
    Rayne
    Hi Rayne, sorry, I jumped in without thinking - here's another try -

    A car door slammed, Anna heard the faint roar of an engine starting and thought of Alan, waiting for her. Silent, standing in the washroom before the cracked mirror she wondered what to do next. Should she go back with him? Shivering at the thought she moved through the washroom door, across the empty space towards the exit. Scarcely able to control her shaking legs, she saw the cleared counter, felt the eerie stillness of the one-story building now shrouded in darkness. Where was the mechanic? He must be near; he might be able to help her. She was alone


    Anna pushed at the exit door, saw the starry sky, as footsteps broke the silence. She turned quickly, her eyes locked onto him. Unmoving, he stared back at her. She heard her own gasp as his body arched and he started towards her. With hands clenched at his side, his wide eyes travelled her body. She couldn’t breathe; her mind refused to believe what was happening. Her mouth opened but her scream was caught in his hand as he rammed it against her mouth, drawing blood that tasted salty against her teeth. His other arm crept around her waist drawing her close, pulling her back through the door across the empty space. Anna could smell his sour sweat, feel the wetness of his mouth against her cheek. His hand moved, covered the bottom half of her face until her breath became a shallow gasp that racked her chest and she knew she was dying.
  10. Rayne Hall's Avatar
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    #10

    Default

    Hi Dragon,

    This is good. The sentence "A secret door groaned open, revealing a dark passage." works well,as do the smell and the darkness. Consider describing the door a bit more. Maybe you could write one additional sentence describing it before they enter?

    By the way, are you aware that your dialogue punctuation is incorrect in several places? If the speech is followed by a complete sentence, then it needs fullstop (American: period) not a comma.

    Two examples:

    >“No. You are,” the elder man pressed a hidden mechanism on the stone wall right before them.<
    Since the bit about the elder man is a complete sentence, it needs to be presented as a sentence:
    “No. You are.” The elder man pressed a hidden mechanism on the stone wall right before them.

    >“Agni waits for you,” the Seer motioned his hand towards the passage.<
    Since the bit about the Seer is a complete sentence, it needs to be presented as a sentence:
    “Agni waits for you.” The Seer motioned his hand towards the passage.

    >“I can’t see anything,” the young man advanced carefully.<
    should be
    “I can’t see anything.” The young man advanced carefully.

    >when everything became pitch black.<

    The phrase "pitch black" is a bit cliched. Can you think of another word to describe the darkness, something more original?

    >He felt the Seer’s hand on his arm, prompting him to walk.<

    Consider describing what the Seer's hand on his arm feels like. Is it a warm, cold, soft, hard....? A single adjective may be enough to let the reader experience the moment.

    I hope these suggestions help.

    Rayne
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