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After the Madness Workshop (Mad Hatter Style)- E9

Hello there!


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 E9 – Eric G. Steinberg

Maple Street, with its tree-lined sidewalks, well-maintained cottages and honest-to-god gas lit lampposts almost made me want to puke from its cloying charm. [I would insert a comma and combine these sentences or find another way to rework this so it doesn’t start with an And] And the white branches courtesy of today’s fresh snow fall made it worse. 

Gil tried the front door knob, tried again and then frowned back at me. What is the front door knob attached to? One of the cottages? Why are they trying to get into the house? I would let us know that, bring us in! Broad football shoulders slumping, his breath was visible in cold.  “It’s locked.” This sentence has awkward structure, I would try and rework it.

“Did you expect us to walk right in?”  I arched an eyebrow.

He shrugged.  “Pretty much, yeah.”

Much as I hated to admit it, the guy did have a point. You could probably count on one hand the number of houses in town that you wouldn’t be able to open the front door, go right in and make yourself at home.  Cedar Knolls from which our esteemed Academy took its name was the kind of quaint western Massachusetts town where everyone knows everyone, being the best good neighbor is a competitive sport Ha. I like that., and practically no one locks their doors.  Evidently, Jeff was among the few.  Who is Jeff? And it served to make  made me wonder what else our teacher might be hiding in his small off campus Cape Cod on Maple Street.  Jeff had managed to wrangle the posh digs out of the Board of Trustees in exchange for gracing us with his presence.  Oh, Jeff is the teacher? The rest of the senior faculty lived in on-campus apartments.  The unfortunate junior teachers had to bunk with us in the dorms, doubling as babysitters. 


I like your voice in here. The MC has attitude, but you’re telling us a lot of stuff here, when you could be showing us. I would try trickling in the information with action. Is this something we need to know right now? Why are they trying to get into Jeff’s house? That’s what I want to know ;o) What do you want us to know about your protagonist? Who IS your protagonist? You tell us a lot about the city and this guy Jeff, but we want to know about the main character since that is who we’re going to follow through the story. Concentrate on them and I think you’ll find it reads better! 

Thoughts? Have anything to add?

It’s been a fun week! Check back on Monday as the critiques continue ;o)

Have a great weekend!
<3 Erica

4 Responses to “After the Madness Workshop (Mad Hatter Style)- E9”

  1. Nothing to add–critique covered it all!

  2. Erica – Thanks for a helpful critique. I’m happy to hear you liked the voice which is frequently the hardest element. I’m already revising. Thanks again.

  3. You’re welcome, Eric! That’s great to hear ;o)

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