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After the Madness Workshop

After the Madness Workshop (Mad Hatter Style)- E12

Greetings!!


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)


250 words


Entry E12 – Lauren Harris

Princess Arianna of Rizellen smiled from her saddle and fought the urge to hurl her Threshing-mark not sure what this is, but it’s a cool sentence! I’m picturing something horse related? into the court physician’s face. Gratifying as it would have been to see rivulets of brilliant dye wash away his condescension, Arianna didn’t need a graybeard with sheep-intestine tangled in his whiskers adding “fits of violent madness” to the many reasons Queen Ammaya shouldn’t name her heir apparent. I love the voice here, but I don’t know what a graybeard is? I’m seriously feeling inadequate right now. LOL. Careful with your words, make sure we’ll all know what they are ;o)

I don’t think you need a new paragraph. Besides, even if her mother took her side in matters of succession, the second Arianna let fly, Queen Ammaya would send her straight to the Five Sisters’ temple to pray for more sense. And after half a season chained to a sickbed, Arianna refused to forfeit this chance to tear through the wind on horseback just because some graybeard insisted she was weak.

“…considering your highness’s recent poor health, the councilors agree a lighter missile is necessary,” said Goat-face. Arianna didn’t bother to dredge up his name. The leech-herder stood before the palfreys, head cranked back to stare down his nose at Princess, Queen, and Lady riders.

Arianna’s fingers clenched around the Threshing-mark. It should have been plum-sized, instead it felt no bigger than the pit. It was closer in size to a real Mark, but that was shallow comfort. Rizellen hadn’t seen a Markmaster as heir in more than a century, and would no doubt have ignored her flat chest, slim hips, and propensity for headaches if she had a real Mark fused into her “fragile” body. But it wasn’t a real Mark. It would do her no good.

This is really good writing, but there are a few words I didn’t know. I’m sure most readers will know, but you have to make sure you describe it better for those of us *cough* me that don’t ;o) Great start. I love the voice and the story!


Happy Saturday!!

<3 Erica

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After the Madness Workshop (Mad Hatter Style)- E10

Greetings!!


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 E10 – Lydia Bloomfield

“Nice weather, eh Gray?” Ella folded her arms across her chest, grinning over her shoulder at the tall, blonde man behind her. “Reminds me of November back home.” I wouldn’t start with them talking about the weather. I would start with the part about them finding the right cliff to go down, that’s what sets it apart and starts the story ;o)

“Yeah, it’s lovely.” Grayson shook his head, laughing, and took a few steps to catch up with Ella. “I can’t believe its June here. I want to go somewhere warm for once. Maybe there’s a temple in Cuba that we can visit.” He peered over the cliff‘s edge to the waves crashing far below. “Or somewhere less near the Atlantic ocean. Hawaii?”

“I wish.” Ella pushed her hair out of her face, but the dark blonde strands only blew back into her face, the chilly ocean breeze determined to keep her half blind.  “I should have brought an extra hair elastic. I do not want to grapple down a cliff face with my hair in my eyes.” 

“That’s assuming we find the right cliff to climb down. I think you put too much faith in our dumb luck, Ell.” Grayson rubbed his eyes tiredly. “We’ve been at this for days. I want to go back to a hotel and sleep for a week.”

“I want a shower,” Ella agreed. “But I feel like we’re close. I promise if we don’t find it today, we head back to whatever that town was and sleep in an actual bed for a few nights before we start again. Deal?”

“Deal.”

Grayson looked over the edge again, frowning. “How are we going to know when we’ve found it, anyway?”

This is a great dialogue exchange. The writing flows really well. The first sentence needs to grab us, and the weather doesn’t, unless the book is about the weather? But finding whatever they’re looking for is what I would start with ;o)  I’m wondering what they’re looking for!


Thoughts? Anything to add?

Make sure to check back on Monday for more entries!

Have a great weekend ;o)
<3 Erica

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4 comments

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

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4 comments

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

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5 comments

After the Madness Workshop – E8

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 E8 – Kelley Gerschke

“Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the best interview in the history of interviews. But give yourself a break, Lyra. It was your first one,” Darren tries to assure me, raising his head of thick, black hair tamed only by his knit cap from the telescope. [insert space] I let him go first because I’m too busy wallowing in my pathetic attempt at an interview after our high school Academic Decathlon competition, which now thanks to the nightly news, just played for all of Arizona to see. Good voice.
            “I looked like a total nerd. A loser. Self absorbed. I worked really hard,” I repeat the words from my interview in a mocking tone, tucking my hands into my flannel shirt.
            Darren shrugs, not bothering to look up from the scope. “You are a nerd.” His dark brown, almost black eyes meet mine. “But you’re not a loser.”
            I give him a pout and twirl my hair, not bothering to stop the annoying habit. A few pieces are stuck in my fingers after I’m done and I discard the strawberry blonde strands out the window of the tree house.
            Darren cocks his head and comes to sit next to me. “If everyone knew you like I do, they would know you’re not self absorbed…most of the time.”
            A small smile spreads across my face. It’s an automatic reaction to Darren’s smile. He shakes my hand. Why does he shake her hand? Maybe he can punch her in the leg or something? Seems more natural. “You just work really hard and expect a lot from yourself and others. Most people don’t live up to your expectations. Leave you disappointed.”

This dialogue is natural. I like it. You do a good job of introducing both characters without backstory. Good voice too. Nice job ;o)


Any thoughts?


Have a stupendous day ;o)
<3 Erica

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