Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop #2


Button for blog hopGood morning, its another Sunday which means I have another 250 word snippet for you.

First, let me just say thank you Jennifer for instigating and managing this idea and to everybody who was kind enough to comment on last week’s offering. I’m very appreciative of all your kind, constructive and helpful words and want to assure you all that my work is already looking stronger from your input. I’m sorry if I missed anybody on my rounds offering critique last week; I will do my best to ensure I catch you all this time around.

Last week, I offered the opening 250ish words of my WIP Walking The Razor’s Edge. This is the sequel to Silk Over Razor Blades and continues the story of Ileandra who became a vampire in the first book.

What I probably should have mentioned last week is that the opening of WTRE is a prologue. It encompasses the epilogue of SORB in a modified form to bring the reader into the tale where they left off. For readers coming to the story at book two, rather than book one, the prologue should serve the dual purpose of bringing the reader into the tale in a way that isn’t confusing. I hope!

Anyway, I would like to get the whole of the prologue out here so I’m going to give you the next 250 words. Once I’ve done that I think I’ll revert to just posting problem sequences.

This is my first draft, so I am painfully aware of some of the issues in the work, but I feel that by posting this draft here, I will benefit from your opinions and thoughts early enough to influence my writing of the rest of the book. I’m currently 20k words in and I predict that the story will reach about 90k before it is complete.

Anyway, without further ado; here is the section:

Daniel had read all about it; catching the news in all the papers and on the radio on the way into work.
At first, Daniel had looked forward to treating the body. The strange, morbid fascination which drew him to the job in the first place, made him eager to see the charred, blackened remains and examine them. He could think of nothing better, on the drive that morning, than examining them in detail.
And yet, when he arrived, the body lying in its neat black bag, complete with a small, white ID tag dangling from the left big toe, was neither black, nor charred. It didn’t even look burned. The fellow looked totally whole and could have been mistaken for a dozing drunk if not for the obvious lack of any life signs.
Daniel grumbled to himself again, picking up the little clipboard to once more check the details against the fellow in the bag. It just had to be the wrong body. “Name,” he read aloud, “‘unknown. Date of birth; unknown.’ Seems we know very little about you at all, fellah!”
The body still, silent, utterly dead, gave no answers.
His conversation with the paramedic crew who brought the bag through had been short and heated. One quick glance into the bag convinced Daniel, that this was the wrong body, and yet the uniformed medics refused to hear him. None would look in the bag, despite his insistence that the body was whole and unmarked and none would accept even the smallest suggestion that they were wrong. It left Daniel confused and agitated; rolling the gurney through the hospital himself to work on the body.

And done!

As ever, any and all comments are gladly received and I look forward to reading what the rest of you have produced for this week.

The list below includes all the other bloggers taking part in the hop, so please do investigate what others have written. There are some excellent openings that I’m looking forward to catching up on myself. 🙂

http://mermaidssinging.wordpress.com/
http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/
http://ileandrayoung.com
http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com/
http://www.mandyevebarnett.com
http://womanbitesdog.wordpress.com/
http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com
http://jennifermeaton.com/
http://richardleonard.wordpress.com
http://jordannaeast.com
http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com
http://threepiecebikini.blogspot.com/
http://itsjennythewren.wordpress.com/
http://writerscrash.blogspot.co.uk/

Want to join up? Click here for the rules, and leave a comment to have your name added to the list. The more the merrier!

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About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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21 Responses to Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop #2

  1. Daniel had read all about it; catching the news in all the papers and on the radio on the way into work.
    At first, Daniel

    TOO MANY “DANIELS” TOO CLOSE TOGETHER.

    had looked forward to treating the body. The strange, morbid fascination which drew him to the job in the first place,

    NO COMMA AFTER PLACE

    made him eager to see the charred, blackened remains and examine them. He could think of nothing better, on the drive that morning, than examining them in detail.

    ICK. I THINK THOSE COMMAS ARE CORRECT THERE, BUT I JUST HATE WHAT THEY DO TO THE FLOW OF THE SENTANCE. CAN WE AVOID THEM SOMEHOW?

    And yet, when he arrived, the body lying in its neat black bag, complete with a small, white ID tag dangling from the left big toe, was neither black, nor charred. It didn’t even look burned. The fellow looked totally whole and could have been mistaken for a dozing drunk if not for the obvious lack of any life signs.

    I THINK THIS WOULD BE MUCH BETTER IF YOU SHOWED US THE SCENE AS IT HAPPENS. ALLOW IT TO UNFOLD AROUND YOUR MAIN CHARACTER SO WE CAN EXPERIENCE IT WITH HIM. IT WILL DRAW US IN AND MAKE US RELATE AND CONNECT WITH THE CHARACTER/STORY.

    Daniel grumbled to himself again, THIS IS TELL, BUT IF YOU DELETE “TO HIMSELF AGAIN” IT WOULD WORK.

    picking up the little clipboard to once more check the details against the fellow in the bag. It just had to be the wrong body. “Name,” he read aloud, “‘unknown. Date of birth; unknown.’ Seems we know very little about you at all, fellah!”
    The body still, silent, utterly dead, gave no answers.

    UNLESS YOU HAVE US FIRNMY INSDE YOUR MC’S POV (WHICH i’M SORRY BUT YOU HAVE NOT ACCOMPLISHED) THAT LAST SENTANCE JUST MAKES ME ROLL MY EYES.

    His conversation with the paramedic crew who brought the bag through had been short and heated. One quick glance into the bag

    YOU USED THE WORDS “THE BAG” TWICE IN A ROW IN BACK TO BACK SENTENCES.
    convinced Daniel, that this was the wrong body,

    THAT CLAUSE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN INSIDE COMMAS

    and yet the uniformed medics refused to hear him. None would look in the bag, despite his insistence that the body was whole and unmarked and none would accept even the smallest suggestion that they were wrong.

    ERGHHH. YOU’RE KILLING ME. I CAN’T GET INVOLVED BECAUSE YOU ARE NOW SHOWING US THE STORY. GIVE US THE DIALOG, LET THIS SCENE UNFOLD AS IT HAPPENS. DON’T JUST TELL US ABOUT IT AFTER THE FACT.

    It —–DO YOUR BEST TO REPLACE EVERY “IT” WITH WHAT “IT” REALLY IS. IT BRINGS THE SENTANCE TO LIFE MORE.

    left Daniel confused and agitated; THAT WAS CLASSIC TELL. SHOW US WHAT CONFUSED AND AGITATED FEELS LIKE TO EHLP US RELATE.

    rolling the gurney through the hospital himself to work on the body.

    I CHALLENGE YOU TO RE-WRITE THIS AND POST IT NEXT WEEK. REMOVE THE TELL AND SHOW THE SCENE INSTEAD. IT BEING A PROLOGE DOES NOT MATTER. WRITE OUT THE WHOLE STORY SO WE CAN SEE IT AS IT HAPPENS. HERE, I CANNOT RELATE AND I’M NOT INVOLVED BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE I AM HEARING THIS ALL AFTER THE FACT.

    REALLY DRAW ME IN. YOU CAN DO THIS, BECAUSE THIS IS AN INTERESTING SCENE. JUST LET IT HAPPEN. LET THE WORDS FLOW OUT OF YOU. DON’T BE AFRAID OF DIALOG. IT’S THE BEST WAY TO DEVELOP A STORY.

    GOOD LUCK!

    Like

    • This all goes a good way towards showing me how far I have to go with this draft.
      Not unexpected, but always sobering to realise and have shown so clearly.
      Makes me nervous to think about the progression I need to make but that’s all part of the experience of writing anything.
      This scene needs attention however, as you’ve all expresseda desires to be/feel closer to this Daniel character but he’s just a vehicle for the primary antagonist of the novel- he doesn’t show up again!

      When I get to the next stage of this I’m going to have to think deeply about how this scene is crafted.

      The ‘trick’ I’m using doesn’t doesn’t work in 250 snippets or just doesn’t suit this stage of the novel.

      Hmm.

      Ok, it’s on WTRE, I’ll tackle you, yet.

      Like

    • Oh and before I forget, you mentioned an email last week, but I don’t seem to have it yet.
      Do you need my address again? Twitter is being a pain but I can repost it in your comments if you need. Or there is the Contact page….

      Like

  2. Hi Ileandra, Jennifer beat me to this. (Not that I would have picked up half of what she did.)
    As if I can add anything to her critique!
    If you’re going to listen to me just hear me say “listen to Jennifer”!
    I’ve got nothing apart from the comma and semi-colon use and the repeated words which she already pointed out.
    It does sound like an intriguing story, though. 🙂

    Like

    • Lol, thanks.

      I feel like I should warn you all that my grammar and punctuation can be a right mess until I get to that point of editing, but it’s still no excuse for sloppiness. :-p

      I’ll probably find myself editing these 250 segments before I post them, rather than giving you all the raw, untouched first draft as I have been.

      Like

  3. Good scene- more descriptions about the morgue would be cool- I have seen autopsy’s in my degree and remember the place well! The smells, the lack of heat etc.. also yep to many daniels hehe but love to find out more! x

    Like

  4. caitlinstern says:

    I don’t have much more than ‘what Jennifer said’ either.
    Other than–don’t give up hope! The idea sounds fascinating, and I don’t think you have to scrap it, even if Daniel isn’t important enough to show up again. He’s our guide, introducing us and then bowing out.
    Definitely show us more! Show us the corpse, and how Daniel felt and what he thought as he took a peek. Show us the weird argument with the paramedics. I sense strange things afoot in your description, and I’d love to see more. Give us the odd hesitations, weird conspiratorial glances, evasive answers, and so on.
    Let us think ‘there’s something hinky going on’ and feel clever for noticing instead of telling us something’s wrong.
    Looking forward to a rewrite!

    Like

    • Rewrite ahoy!
      Yes I’m starting to feel excited about that stage too.
      I don’t want to get caught up in rewrites before I’ve even got the rest of the story down, so it will be a while before I rewrite, but all these comments/suggestions are being collected up so I can decide what to take, what not to take and how to proceed.
      Funny, but I’ve never looked forward to editing before!

      Like

  5. I haven’t much to add, Ileandra, but I wonder how ‘Daniel had read all about it; catching the news in all the papers and on the radio on the way into work.’

    I know what you mean but it read a little awkwardly to me. I suppose he was using public transport and not driving?

    I wonder if the police and paramedics are crooked. Hmm.

    Like

    • It’s funny how you can write something that makes ‘perfect sense’ but it totally doesn’t when read literally. 🙂 Thanks for the observation, I’ll take another look at that piece.

      Like

  6. Interesting scene! I can see why it’d feel counterintuitive to write the scene in more present tense when your prologue is just summing up the events of your first book. I’m dealing with that myself. However, it is more interesting to the reader if it’s written in the present. It’ll be worth it to convert it. Good luck!

    Like

  7. I’m going to jump on the Jennifer bandwagon too, but I’ll add this – be careful with how many clauses you out in sentences. If you want quick, action pacing, you need shorter more direct sentences with fewer dependent clauses. I look forward to seeing it again next week.

    Like

  8. Pingback: Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop 4 « Writing: A Conversation Without Interruptions

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