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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
    TBR: 27
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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. #5

    Default Assignment - off-the-cuff - 246 words



    The steady drip of rainwater on a pile of discarded oil drums lent an eerie soundtrack to the dark alleyway. Tom eased toward the brick archway, nerves taut, cursing the glow of the streetlamps and the knowledge there would be zero cover once he crossed that threshold. His pistol felt more like a fifty-pound weight, its chill surface making him shiver even though it was six inches from his cheek. They're waiting for me. They're sitting there just waiting for me to stick my head around that goddamn corner.

    Well, okay, retreat wasn't an option. If he didn't face them now, they'd finish him off some night in his sleep. An ignominious death, probably untraceable, and he'd be just another unfortunate casualty in the war against organized crime. The thought left battery acid churning in his gut. No fucking way. If he was going to die, by God he'd make it the costliest contract they'd ever put out.

    As he got closer to the archway, Tom noticed the deep niche of a doorway on the opposite side of the deserted street. Probably a service entrance for the Oriental market on Jackson Street. Decent cover, if he could manage to scramble, roll, and dive his way across thirty feet of pocked asphalt without taking a slug. Hell, he might actually live to see the sunrise.

    If they hadn't already thought of it and had a shooter just waiting for him to get comfy before open season started.
  6. Rayne Hall's Avatar
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    #6

    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
  7. bonelover13's Avatar
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    #7

    Default

    So this is the beginning of a new chapter, and would like to be able to make this a bit stronger.

    “Get inside and sit down, we have a lot to talk about.” Mariana ordered as she closed the door to her store, locked the door, put the CLOSED sign in the window, and dimmed the lights. She felt like she needed to keep moving to prolong the conversation that was inevitably going to happen. Her heart was pounding, her hands sweating, and she felt like she was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. As she let out a long weighted sigh she turned to her visitor.

    Any ideas on how to make this a bit better?
    Last edited by bonelover13; September 29th, 2012 at 02:06 PM. Reason: I got a scene done with the heros.
  8. Bethanne's Avatar
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    #8

    Default

    Hey Rayne,
    this is a bit from a ms I started working on then had a HD crash and lost most of my work. Trying to get motivated to open it and redo the work. Maybe a few words will help.

    He turned her under the spray and tilted her head back so the soap would run down her back then nodded his head toward the curtain. “Go on. Get out while I still have some will-power left.”

    She kissed him just over his heart and disappeared.

    There was only one option left for him. He turned the water cold and soaked himself. After rubbing down with a soapy washcloth and rinsing, he twisted the faucet off.

    And listened.

    Quiet. Not the usual quiet that filled a room when people were in it, but a dead quiet when something has gone terribly wrong.
    Letting out a slow breath, dread filled him.

    He pushed the curtain aside and the bright lights above the mirror flashed in his eyes. The haze filled his vision, starting at the edges and working its way inward. “Stacy?”

    Reaching for his towel, he quickly wrapped it around his waist and picked up his gun from the counter top.

    A sharp pain struck behind his eyes. He dimmed the lights and opened the door.
    Bethanne Strasser
    For Love or Duty, available now
    Letters from Home, coming in November from Entangled Publishing
  9. CherylYeko's Avatar
    Reading: Run the Risk, Lori Foster
    Just Finished Reading: Angel of Darkness, Cynthia Eden
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    #9

    Default

    With Casey flung over his shoulder, Rock pushed a wide, steel door open with his broad shoulder and kicked it shut behind him. The sharp clang reverberated in the room like a death knell, filling her with dread. She was alone with a dangerous man.
  10. #10

    Default Assignment - Fatherdragon1

    Oh, I already love you Rayne. I was confused about the use of the comma in the dialogue. It didn't feel right to me. Thanks for the feedback! I'll make the changes needed.

    Dragon
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