books . poetry . events . about . blog . faq . need help? . contact
Instagram Facebook Twitter Tumblr Pinterest Goodreads

After the Madness Workshop – E7

The Madness continues! We have two more great entries today. To be honest, I’m so tired of seeing that After the Madness pic, I decided to bring the MAD into the After the MADness Workshop! Tea anyone?


Here’s how this workshop works. I’ll post (along with Brenda DrakeYAtopia, and Shelley Watters) two entries per day until we’ve reached fifteen each. There was no rhyme or reason for who got which entries, so make sure to check all four blogs for yours! For those that are here to critique, have a great time! This is an open forum and we welcome opinions. It isn’t easy to put your stuff out there so, kudos to all of you who entered! I hope we can help ;o)


Let’s do this!



First 250 words


Entry E7 – Monica Sanz


Marcus Kent’s steps warped to a stop Can steps warp to a stop? outside the near skeletal remains
of a three story brownstone. Crumbled brick exposed the steel veins of the wounded structure. Good description. Dismal and worn, it could have just as well been invisible.  Inside, lobby lights flickered, the darkness beyond there striking Marcus oddly as if warning of the dangers that lurked within. I would rework this sentence, it reads awkwardly. Solitude and darkness was? never a favorable companion, [insert period] Marcus’ human instincts strummed and urged him to leave, that it would be best if he didn’t go in there. Perhaps it would have been. But instincts no longer mattered. They hadn’t for quite some time. Not for Marcus. Free will long dead to obligation, he walked inside.


Past litter stained the? halls, and up stairs whose creaking betrayed his silent coming, he arrived:  at Apartment 2C. Marcus blew out a long breath and traced the dilapidated plastic letters marking the door, sliding the dangling C to its rightful place. Good sentence structure.


Mid-stroke, his hand paused His hand paused mid-stroke reads easier – it’s just my preference. A strange, muted song bled from the seams of the door. Marcus turned his ear to search out the sound. The broken melody, played poorly on a pianoforte, held neither tune nor rhythm. Keys were struck to the tempo of a fading heart, an irregular pulse that made no sense at all. Marcus retracted his hand. Cold, he stepped back. He didn’t know the song, but the agony lacing every note was familiar. His instincts had been right—he never should have walked into that building. But it wasn’t ever a choice.


Marcus misted inside. The damp smell of liquor and cigarette smoke laced with despair, fear, and anger burned Marcus’ nostrils.



This has a strange sentence structure. It’s harder to read when you start with the action first. Try leading us into the sentences to make them flow. You have some really great descriptions but they’re lost in weird sentence structure and strange imagery. Try and act out your actions and see if they’re possible, see if they make sense. I can see something in this, but the sentence structure is throwing me off. I think the potential is there for a great piece though ;o)


Any thoughts?


Have a great day!
<3 Erica

5 Responses to “After the Madness Workshop – E7”

  1. MonicaSanz says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. MonicaSanz says:

    Thank you so much for the feedback Erica! I’ve started applying your advice, especially the part about leading the reader into the sentence. It’s really helped with the flow and the structure. Thanks again! 🙂

  3. I’m so glad it helped you ;o) You know, I used to have the same issues with my descriptions, and someone told me the same thing ;o)

    Thanks for sharing your work with us!

  4. I agree with EMC. Further, while the first para paints a lovely picture of where our boy is, I have very little insight to him beyond dubiuos intent. Finally, “Marcus misted inside,” no, just no. I don’t have a problem of verbing a word as long as it’s appropriate. This one isn’t. Mist is slight, weak and neither here nor there. When you give us so little to work with on your protag, he MUST be declarative and decisive in action.

    Based on your writing, I’d hang with you on this.

    Buona fortuna.

  5. MonicaSanz says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate the feedback! As for replacing misted, I’m thinking of making it more direct by saying he walked through the door. I used misted in the sense of him dissolving and then materializing on the other side of the door, but if he were to simply walk through the closed door I think it will evoke a similar image. I’m going to go through the first few pages to make sure that I strengthen Marcus’ actions, especially until the reader learns who he is. Again, thank you! 🙂

Leave a Reply