KP Critiques – 35

Welcome to the 35th edition of KP Critiques! May others be inspired by your bravery, Lady Tessa. Even the most skilled wordsmiths shudder at the sight of an editor’s dagger, but it’s a necessary training procedure. Although you may emerge with blood splatters on your hands, your sword will be sharpened and your story will wield more impact.KP Critique 35

I issue a challenge to all the squires in the audience. I beseech you to don the armor of a knight and come forward. Dost thou hear the trumpet sounding? Send us your novel excerpts!

Now, onward to the analysis of Tessa’s tale!

A timid knock on the bedroom door started Charles Galing’s day.

“Come in,” he called sleepily. He sat up and pushed back his orange curls. Deep set eyes, bleary with sleep, Blinking his bleary eyes, he looked questioningly at Mary, his maid, as she entered.

By detaching Charles’s eyes from his person, they’ve become “floating body parts.” This is a bit of a POV breach as well, since Charles can’t see his own eyes. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Brianna Storm Hilvety
Brianna was born with a rumble in her veins. She finds the tap of a keyboard to be soothing like the pitter-patter of rain. She has been a writer for a decade, a freelance editor for a few years, and a bibliophile from the moment she pronounced her first syllable. Proudly a Silver Member of The Christian PEN, she serves on their team as graphics coordinator. She exudes her passion for speculative fiction and helping young writers by being on the staff of Castle Gate Press and Kingdom Pen magazine. When she isn’t poring over words, she may be spotted shooting her Canon, riding The Breeze (an all-terrain vehicle), or romping with her dog, Zookie. Purple is her signature color, and she refuses to recognize all other claims to it.

KP Critiques – 34

Welcome to the 34th edition of KP Critiques (which Daeus has so gallantly pledged to save)! Thank you for your bravery, Sir Daeus. Even the most skilled wordsmiths shudder at the sight of an editor’s dagger, but it’s a necessary training procedure. Although you may emerge with blood splatters on your hands, your sword will be sharpened and your story will wield more impact.kpcritique34

I issue a challenge to all the squires in the audience. I beseech you to don the armor of a knight and come forward. Dost thou hear the trumpet sounding? Send us your novel excerpts!

Now, onward to the dissection of Daeus’s riveting tale!

They fled down the alley. It was a through the labyrinth of hovels, where each corner looked the same — decayed. Here was passing a heroine addict, there a dead heroine addict, there a dog, next and a wretched slag who shouted at them in wWelsh and threw a brick at them. There were nNo street lights overhead, and little moon. It could have been a A still night, but except for the robotic leg. It clanged ever a little faster than their tread, ever a little louder in their ears.

I love the action and descriptions here, but the pace needed keyed up. Usually that can be fixed by trimming a few words. Short, quick sentences (even fragments) convey tension—kind of like rapid breathing. Also, you employed passive voice (“here was” and “there were”) a few times, which should generally be avoided. In active voice, the subject acts (a boy stood at the corner); in passive voice, the subject simply exists (there was a boy standing at the corner). You can probably guess which is more interesting to read. 😉

[Read more…]

Profile photo of Brianna Storm Hilvety
Brianna was born with a rumble in her veins. She finds the tap of a keyboard to be soothing like the pitter-patter of rain. She has been a writer for a decade, a freelance editor for a few years, and a bibliophile from the moment she pronounced her first syllable. Proudly a Silver Member of The Christian PEN, she serves on their team as graphics coordinator. She exudes her passion for speculative fiction and helping young writers by being on the staff of Castle Gate Press and Kingdom Pen magazine. When she isn’t poring over words, she may be spotted shooting her Canon, riding The Breeze (an all-terrain vehicle), or romping with her dog, Zookie. Purple is her signature color, and she refuses to recognize all other claims to it.

KP Critiques – 33

We give you our 33rd installment of KP Critiques! We greatly appreciate the willingness of our subscribers to subject their work underneath our editor’s scrutiny. While critiques are necessary and greatly beneficial, it’s never easy to put your work out there for all to see, and for it to be publicly critiqued. Thank you for having the courage to partake of this daring endeavor! unbreakablecritique
(Our editors really aren’t that scary.)

A big thank you to Aysia for this awesome critique!! 

 

The prison door clanged shut,; footsteps receded down the hallway.

This is a comma splice, as it’s really two separate sentences here, so I suggest replacing it with a semi-colon or a period.

I pulled against the chains with all my might, but they wouldn’t give.

“Don’t bother,” a voice said. I looked up. On the other side of the dungeon slumped a thin girl, wearing similar shackles. Although it was dark, I could see her bruised eyes and bloody wrists.

“I already tried,” she said. My mouth dropped open.

“Eryn! How did you get here?”

“Our forces were intercepted at the bridge,” she replied quietly.  How was that possible? They couldn’t have known unless…

“Treachery?” It was more of a statement than a question.

She nodded.  “Undoubtedly.”

With something like this, since the same character is both doing the action and saying the dialogue, they should be in the same paragraph. [Read more…]

KP Critiques – 32

With overwhelming delight we are proud to be presenting you with the 32nd installment of KP Critiques!! We enjoy all of the effort and willingness from each and every one of you who has participated. We know the great courage it took for you to submit your work to scrutiny and we thank you abundantly! Keep ’em coming! We love your critique submissions. Even if you’ve already sent one in, don’t hesitate to submit another one!  edwinbrookcritique

Thank you Daeus for this awesome submission! 

An hour past noon, Matthew and Valmond found themselves with Rameaux mounted on horses overlooking a long dusty road many miles from the bandit hideaway. They were on top of a semi-large hill hairy with trees which descended directly upon the road before them in a series of steep slopes and shallow ones which resembled a terrace with steep ramps connecting each level.

“Hairy with trees.” Nice. XD

At its end, past the road, there extended broad fields of pasture land.

“When will the carriage arrive?” asked Valmond. [Read more…]

KP Critiques – 31

We’re back with another critique! Thank you all so much for having the courage to send them in! We know it’s never easy to have your writing critiqued, let alone shared for the benefit of others. That takes guts! But we also know that receiving critiques from others is one of the THE BEST ways to grow and improve. Constructive criticism is invaluable! communityhousepost

Thank you Adryanna for this awesome submission!!

 

That day we went to the Community House where all the Farewells were held. The huge door gave a loud crreeaak as I pulled it open. Inside it was dark and empty.

“This place is creepy,” Alyssa whispered.

“I knew there was a reason I despise this place,” Leo responded. “In the light it’s too happy; it was almost unreal. But in the dark I can see its true nature. Pure. Evil.”

Quick guide to “its” and “it’s.”  “It’s” is a contraction for “it is,” so you should only use “it’s” if it would make sense to replace it with “it is.”  Otherwise, if you’re using it to show possession, you should just use “its”.

“Leo, don’t” Alyssa whined. I smiled, they were such dorks.

“Come on, the Farewell Hall is this way.” I said, leading the way. I started to wish we had brought a flashlight. I could barely see my hand in front of my face. Finally, we get to the door I hoped was the right one. “Are you sure about this?” Alyssa asked. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf started reading when he was four, started writing fiction when he was six and hasn’t stopped doing either ever since. After growing up with seven younger siblings, he eventually found himself graduated and attending Patrick Henry College, where he plans on majoring in literature with a minor in pedagogy (it’s a fancy Greek word for education).
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels that have worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as fun as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. Plans for obtaining those impossible goals include listening to a lot of Hans Zimmer, ignoring college work so that he can find time to write, and avoiding coffee at all costs.

KP Critiques – 30

With overwhelming delight we are proud to be presenting you with the 30th installment of KP Critiques!! We enjoy all of the effort and willingness from each and every one of you who has participated. We know the great courage it took for you to submit your work to scrutiny and we thank you abundantly! Keep ’em coming! We love your critique submissions. Even if you’ve already sent one in, don’t hesitate to submit another one!  tobelieve1

Thank you Faith for providing us with this stellar submission! 

 

Get him!” they yelled. Seth tugged on the strap of his backpack as he raced through the dark alley. Determination set on his dark eyes. He was not going back, not this time.

As he climbed over a short metal fence, his mind raced. Surely by now, they should just give up. They weren’t his friends. They didn’t need him. He had done his job, and now he wanted nothing more to do with it all.

Seth stopped and leaned against a wall. He was trapped. The alley stopped abruptly in front of a tall brick building.

I’m a bit confused about the geography of this.  So he’s in an alley, he climbs over a fence, and then he’s still in an alley?  I could use a bit more description about where he’s at.  Leaning against a wall also seems like a strange move; it seems like standing and panting at the end of the alley would be the more natural choice to make. 

He could hear the men’s voices getting louder. His chest heaved as he searched for any place to hide. [Read more…]

KP Critiques – 29

We are so delighted to be presenting you with our twenty-ninth installment of KP Critiques!! All of you amazing subscribers who have submitted your work for us to critique, THANK YOU!!! Through your courage you have provided us with substantial material, as well as aided in sharing wisdom to fellow writers. Receiving constructive criticism is never easy, but it’s necessary to grow as a writer!  annassavanna

So please continue flooding us with your wonderful critiques!

Thank you Tessa for this awesome submission!

Have you ever wanted to say that you have owned the weirdest pet in the world? A pet that no one else has owned before? A pet that makes people envy you? I have. I am a typical teenager living in a typical flat in a typical city. Boring. My name is Anna. Boring. I have straight brown hair. Boring. And nothing exciting ever happens to me. But one day that all changed.

I get what you’re trying to do here, but the repetition of boring here and then usual below is a bit much.  I recommend cutting out most of them and trying to work it in a subtler way.

One day my Dad came home from work and sat down on the couch. Usual. He picked up the paper lying on the arm beside him. Usual. But he didn’t open it, just stared off into the distance. Ok, not usual. Mum didn’t notice anything wrong until we were seated at the dinner table eating spaghetti bolognese. That is, Mum and I were. Dad just pushed it round his plate. Finally Mum realized something was up. She looked up at Dad. She looked down at the food. She looked back up at Dad. [Read more…]

KP Critiques – 28

We’re back with another critique! Thank you all so much for having the courage to send them in! We know it’s never easy to have your writing critiqued, let alone shared for the benefit of others. That takes guts! But we also know that receiving critiques from others is one of the THE BEST ways to grow and improve. Constructive criticism is invaluable! bondage

Today’s submission is an excerpt from Tessa’s novel, Bondage

Thank you so much Tessa for this awesome excerpt! 

 

‘Swish. Swish. Swish.’ The sound of straw being moved, filled the longhouse. Katrina, an attractive fifteen year old, blinked as a burst of sun filled the gloomy inside.

Describing Katrina as an attractive fifteen year old doesn’t work for a couple reasons.  First, it appears that this scene is being written from Katrina’s POV, and I find it hard to believe that she would describe herself like that. =P Second, this kind of thing works a lot better if you show the reader this rather than tell them.  Describe the dimples in her cheeks, the flow of her hair, the way that she smiles, or whatever it is that makes her attractive in order to bring this across to the reader.

A tall boy grinned down at her through the hole in the roof and teasingly dropped a few strands of straw into her hair. She glared up at him.

“You’d have been sorry if I’d been making your meal here,” she scolded. “Can’t you give us some warning next time?”

The boy, Lang, laughed good-naturedly. “I told you that Miska and I were replacing the thatch today. You should have chosen to do something outside.” He turned and looked at the other boy working behind him. [Read more…]

KP Critiques – 27

We give you our twenty-seventh installment of KP Critiques! We greatly appreciate the willingness of our subscribers to subject their work underneath our editor’s scrutiny. While critiques are necessary and greatly beneficial, it’s never easy to put your work out there for all to see, and for it to be publicly critiqued. Thank you for having the courage to partake of this daring endeavor! journeymaldroc
(Our editors really aren’t that scary.)

 

Journey to Maldroc

Levi Pierpont

 

Gavryn awoke to his sister, Autumn, shaking his arm. “Gavryn, it’s time to go to school!” She cried. “We could be late!”

“Sorry, Autumn… just… really… tired.” He replied, his voice groggy and shaky. He got out of bed and found his school things, put them in his backpack, and walked down the hall to eat breakfast. He was always quick at getting ready.

“Gavryn, can you take the trash out to the incinerator? Josyia already left for school.”

Incinerator. Interesting.

“Sure thing, Mom.” Gavryn replied. He needed a minute away from others to think.

“Thank you, Gav.” She replied. [Read more…]

KP Critiques – 26

We are so delighted to be presenting you with our twenty-sixth installment of KP Critiques!! All of you amazing subscribers who have submitted your work for us to critique, THANK YOU!!! Through your courage you have provided us with substantial material, as well as aided in sharing wisdom to fellow writers. Receiving constructive criticism is never easy, but it’s necessary to grow as a writer!  digitallyblind

So please continue flooding us with your wonderful critiques!

Today’s submission is an excerpt from Sarah Lim’s short story, Digitally Blind

The incredible submission!

The package was addressed to a Miss Lunaeira Evans who lived somewhere on the outskirts of the city. Job Holt, thirty-seven years old and still of no considerable mark in life, fingered absently at the wrapping twine and set the package down on the seat next to him.

“fingered absently at the wrapping twine” A little awkward to read.

Postman. Archaic term for a now highly advanced technological role in society. Every day Job filtered through the endless influx of mind-messages. Instant intrigue here! Statistically speaking, one in every thousand mind-messages was reportable. But reporting the treason never gave him any extra income—it was all part of the job. What earned extra revenue would be those once-in-a-blue-moon physical packages, such as the one addressed to Miss Lunaeira Evans. Even then, not every physical delivery was as lucrative as what could be dug out of the trip. [Read more…]