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After the Madness Workshop – E15


The Madness continues! We have two more great entries today. These are the last *sniff* We’ve had a good time though. Look for an After the Madness Workshop post on Tuesday ;o)

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)

250 words

Entry E15 – Angelica Jackson

Mom woke me as we hit the outskirts of Crow’s Rest. “Brace yourself, Avery Girl.” This is good, but what follows is a little confusing. Maybe if we start a new paragraph? It’s what she’d said the first time we’d come we came to visit Uncle Tam, and every time since, [I would end it here, the rest is implied, I think] as we got close to Crow’s Rest and the Castle. A tingle of anticipation and dread rushed through me and I sat up.
For weeks I’d begged her to let me drive part of the way on this trip; [I would insert a period here and start a new sentence] bicycling was nearly a cult in Davis, and I hadn’t gotten much use out of my new driver’s license at home. But I’d been so wiped out from last-minute packing that instead I fell asleep as soon as I settled into the passenger seat. I’m not sure I re-worked that enough. I would try and read it again and rearrange it a bit.
As I opened the window, the June air streamed in, coating my tongue with heat and iron-rich dust. Good description. Houses flashed by: [you don’t need a colon I think, you can use a period and start a new sentence] a few McMansions that had probably been foreclosed on before they’d even been built out expanded, along with the farmhouses that dated from the 1840s on. Buzzing insects circled the weeds, already drying and brittle among the oaks.
            As we took that last curve on the approach, tree branches arched over the road, blocking our view until there it stood—a castle, a brick anomaly glowinged red in the afternoon light.  Looming It loomed over the Gold-Rush-era town from the top of a hill, making my shutter finger itch. The usual complement of turkey vultures and ravens soared above it, sinister-izing the turrets even more. These are great descriptions.

I liked this. You have some wonderful descriptions. The sentence structure needs to be re-worked in a few of these sentences to make them flow better. You’ve created an interesting view of the city!


Happy Monday!
<3 Erica

3 Responses to “After the Madness Workshop – E15”

  1. Thanks for the feedback, Erica! A few of those are stylistic choices (“Crow’s Rest and the Castle” [emphasizing the Castle because it’s almost another character in the book] and “Looming over” [I wanted the structure of that sentence to make you slightly uncomfortable, to add to the feeling there’s something significant/odd about the Castle) but if they don’t work, they don’t work.

    I know it’s difficult to tell from just the first page if it’s style or a grammar issue. It took me a few pages to get into The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Perks of Being a Wallflower because the style was so different, but after a few pages, I didn’t really notice it.

    When it’s done badly, though, it knocks you right out of the story and I don’t want that. Thanks again!

  2. Thanks, Angelica! I hope I helped! We all have our styles ;o) Thanks for sharing your work with us!

  3. I agree–some these sentences could use some rewording, but the descriptions are fantastic. Not to mention I’m intrigued by this girl who rarely drives, and the castle. I would definitely keep reading.

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