Well, folks. It was fun while it lasted.

As you can see, not much has been happening on this blog lately.

There are several reasons for this, but I will only hit on a couple:

First: It's amazing how much can change in a couple of months--both in our personal lives and on the writing front. A couple of us have signed publishing contracts, and so the need to write, edit, market, promote HAD to take preference over this blog and the services we were providing.

Second: Running this blog, critiquing submissions, providing feedback...well, that's a LOT of dang work. We weren't getting paid for this service. We had a concept and we went with it--for free--not realizing how much time it would involve with very little (nothing) in return for our effort.

Third: Probably the biggest factor that made us come to this decision, was the fact that a good portion of the submissions we received just weren't ready. They needed more revision. We were wanting to give out reviews on AMAZING, fully complete, well edited novels. 90% of what we received didn't come close.

So we've shut it down. We've moved on.

If you liked our comments and our posts, you can check us out on our individual blogs:

Angela Scott: www.whimsywritingandreading.weebly.com or @whimsywriting on twitter or http://www.facebook.com/AngelaScottWriter

D.S. Tracy:

Kacey Mark:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pimped Paragraph #5

Posted by Ready, Aim, Hook Me at 6:41 AM
(Your comments are welcomed and highly encouraged. The author of this first paragraph submission is looking for all the constructive criticism they can receive to improve their opening hook.  Do you agree with us Hook'ers? Disagree? Were you hooked and would want to read more? Let this author know).

ORIGINAL SUBMISSION (Genre: Adult Fantsy):
Villeen’s father should’ve murdered her eldest brother.  Now… now she’d have to finish it.  She clenched her eyes shut, unable to look at the heap of rags in the corner.  Pale flesh peaked from the half-shredded brown robes.  The corner of a book dug into her breast, but she ignored the pain, only clutching it tighter, wishing she’d found it earlier.

Angela Scott:
Villeen’s father should’ve murdered her eldest brother.  Now… now (Not sure you need to echo this--I'd almost like a clarification, something along the lines of: Because he didn't, now she'd have to finish it. Does that make sense?) she’d have to finish it.  She clenched her eyes shut, unable to look at the heap of rags in the corner.  Pale flesh peaked from the half-shredded brown robes (I like this image--just be careful not to add to many modifiers).  The corner of a book dug into her breast, but she ignored the pain, only clutching it tighter, wishing she’d found it earlier.

I like how this begins. You've tossed us into some type of action, that is for sure. I'd read on. I do wish I had a better sense of of her feelings toward her brother. She clentched her eyes so I assume she doesn't want to kill him, yet the first couple of lines leave me thinking maybe he needed to be killed and she wants to kill him. The first line is a pretty good opener, too.

D.S. Tracy:
Villeen’s father should’ve murdered her eldest brother.  Now… now she’d have to finish it.  She clenched her eyes shut, (can't clench them open, can you?) unable to look at the heap of rags in the corner.  Pale flesh peaked from the half-shredded brown robes. (I wonder if you could just get rid of one of these. I paused for a moment, here. I got it, but for a split second I did pause with the rags vs. robes) The corner of a book dug into her breast, but she ignored the pain, only clutching it tighter, wishing she’d found it earlier. (This sentence needs some work. Besides some modifier issues, it is a bit weak)



This has mystery and I like that. I think you definitely need to work on it a bit more. Make sure your word choices are spot on. Clench and clutch sound too similar. They are great verbs, but too close and would alter the sound of the piece. Same goes for rags vs. robes. The second line makes it read a bit like a back of blurb sentence. I'm not a fan of ellipses used for drama. It is artificial. Don't force me to feel a dun, dun, dun moment--just show me, make me feel the dun, dun, dun all on my own. Resist the urge to explain, or resist the urge to dot, dot, dot. I think you're off to a good start by creating intrigue. Fiddle with the wording a bit more. I'm interested, but not convinced.  Thanks for sharing. 


 
Kacey Mark:

Villeen’s father should’ve murdered her eldest brother. <Excellent hook. Good job. I get the sense of a couple important characters, a conflict, and a hint of history all rolled into one.> Now… now <You may want to rethink this. Using words like "now" pulls the reader out of the story. The reader thinks they are already in the here and now. When you use words like "now" it distracts and makes them question the timeline of the story> she’d have to finish it.  She clenched her eyes shut, unable to look at the heap of rags in the corner. <Great visceral, good emotion, love the conflict. so someone's in a heap of rags in the corner. That's interesting! Good, good, good.One question though... I can't seem to get my head around this stranger in rags in the corner. Is it a baby? A full grown man? Please let us know.> Pale flesh peaked from the half-shredded brown robes.<Okay so we've moved from rags to robes, which in my mind have upped his social status. Just sayin'...Moving along...>  The corner of a book dug into her breast, <Okay where did the book come from? I would have expected her to have a knife or a gun, or a club-something to finish the guy off with, unless the book holds spells, which would be cool> but she ignored the pain, only clutching it tighter, wishing she’d found it earlier. <So finding the book was the goal? I thought finishing Villeen off was the goal. Now I'm a little confused.>

Try not to let all the color on my critique fool you. I really liked this piece. And it's not really red ink anyway it's salmon. Sort of a struggle-upstream-to-deliver-your-legacy kind of color. See, now doesn't it sound so much better that way?
This first paragraph has a lot of good things going for it. It got a little confusing at the end as to what the real goal was, but overall, I like it. I would for sure read on!

4 comments:

Michael Offutt on September 23, 2011 at 1:43 PM said...

"peaked" should be "peeked". Other than that, I agree with the ladies.

Ready, Aim, Hook Me on September 23, 2011 at 4:37 PM said...

Great catch! That's why it's important to have more than one pair of eyes look at your stuff. It took four to catch that one. :)

Lyn Midnight on September 23, 2011 at 5:22 PM said...

You girls are on fire! Truth is, the more closely you look at a piece of writing, the more confused you grow and this has happened to me. Otherwise, I like the suspense. I personally don't like the phrase 'clenched eyes' though...

One more thing. I have a bit of request if you will. Could you increase the font size on your posts because my eyes are hurting from the tiny letters. :)

Ready, Aim, Hook Me on September 23, 2011 at 6:06 PM said...

We'll play with the font. This blog template has been a pain in my arse. It does weird stuff, one being it makes the font small and sometimes within a post it makes one section even smaller. Sorry to make your eyes clench from the strain. :)

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