KP Critiques – 38

Welcome to the 38th edition of KP Critiques! May others be inspired by your bravery, Lady Alia. 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 38

Now, onward to the exploration of Alia’s tale!

Everyone knelt there, heads bowed, feeling as helpless, though maybe not as furious, as he did. He wanted to fight, wanted to do something, but he was terrified, same as everyone else. Until someone lifted their his chin, and stood up. He didn’t know how, but sSomehow everyone in the clearing knew sensed that some idiot had looked up. Stupid, stupid. Now we’re all going to die. He didn’t dare look up himself,; after all, he might be shown mercy. Had not his family been faithful? Had not his family sacrificed everything? [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 an Associate Editor at Castle Gate Press and the Copy Editor/Director of Graphics for Kingdom Pen. 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.

How to Cope When Your Manuscript Is Black and White and Red All Over

You did it. You sent your manuscript out to be appraised by someone else—and you’re not sure whether to shout hurray or groan. Maybe you’re trying to get published, or maybe you’re just seeking feedback. Maybe this is the first time you’ve shown your work to someone, or maybe it’s the one-hundredth time. Whatever the case, you’ve placed your writing in someone else’s hands and now you’re trembling and biting your nails as you await the results.

Black_and_White_and_Red_All_OverThen you hear the flutter of paper, the ding of an e-mail, or the shuffle of the mailman, and your precious bundle arrives. But as you open it, you gasp at all the bloodstains marring the pages, and you wrestle with one of two thoughts:

  1. I must be a horrible writer!
  2. This person doesn’t understand me or my piece, and they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Both of these reactions are wrong, and neither is good for your morale as a writer (although at least the first displays humility). You’re understandably feeling stung, but before you start sobbing or chopping off any heads, pause to pray for wisdom. To endure criticism and emerge a more astute writer, you need to analyze five factors. [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 an Associate Editor at Castle Gate Press and the Copy Editor/Director of Graphics for Kingdom Pen. 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 – 37

Welcome to the 37th edition of KP Critiques! May others be inspired by your bravery, R. J. Wordsmith. Even the most skilled knights of the pen 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 37

Before I begin, I have a quick note for anyone who has viewed my previous critiques. Up until now, I’ve essentially performed a critique and copyedit combo on each piece wherein I’ve tried to improve the sentences as well as comment on plot, characters, theme, etc. However, I’ve decided to cease that practice because it’s tedious and time consuming to transfer all my line-level edits from a Word document to a blog post without missing something. I will still be doing critiques, but more in the true sense of the word (focusing on content only).

I thought I should mention this change in procedure, lest someone spot a typo or grammar error and mistakenly assume I’ve lost my “superpower.” 😛 Occasionally I may point out small blunders and trim words, but generally I won’t be marking up novel excerpts like a copyedit anymore. Since the following story contained some recurring issues, I’ve positioned my assessment at the bottom of this post rather than scattering it throughout. My apologies to anyone who hoped to witness or experience a more comprehensive edit. Thank you for understanding. 🙂

Now, onward to R. J.’s dastardly tale!

James ‘Kit’ Kessington Wraith lived at house No. 166 on West Regicide St. in the City of Wickton. He came from a perfectly respectable evil family (two of his more famous ancestors being Morgana and Mordred) and was top of his class at the ‘Wickton Academy for the Mastery of the Villainous Arts’. Now you may think it strange that this story does not begin with the introduction of a classical hero, but truth be told this story isn’t about one. For you see, sometimes the world needs a hero to save it and other times the job can only be done with a bit of good old-fashioned villainy. But I begin to digress. [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 an Associate Editor at Castle Gate Press and the Copy Editor/Director of Graphics for Kingdom Pen. 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 Book Review: Wars of the Realm Trilogy

Since my early teens, I’ve been a huge fan of The Kingdom Series and The Knights of Arrethtrae. Both have rendered rereading and hold an honored spot on my bookshelf. When I heard that Chuck Black was writing a new series, I was elated. But then life became distracting, my free time decreased, and after skimming the synopsis for Cloak of the Light, I had mixed feelings about it. As far as I could tell, the book featured no sword fights, chivalry, castles, biblical parallels, or any of the elements that drew me to Chuck Black’s other works. On top of that, a couple people warned me that the overall writing quality was poor.Wars_of_the_Realm_Trilogy

However, I am fiercely loyal to authors who have captivated me in the past. So, in spite of my misgivings and low expectations, I eventually bought the Wars of the Realm trilogy when I had a spare Amazon gift card. I’m glad I did, because the first book, and the sequels, gripped my attention more than any Christian fiction has for a long time. [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 an Associate Editor at Castle Gate Press and the Copy Editor/Director of Graphics for Kingdom Pen. 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 – 36

Welcome to the 36th edition of KP Critiques! May others be inspired by your bravery, Lady Kate. 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 36

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 Kate’s intriguing tale!

There are lots of things in the world I guess no one was ever really made to understand. Different things for different people sometimes, but for the most part it all boils down to the inevitable. Things like destiny. Love. Evil. Death. I know a lot about death. But destiny especially. [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 an Associate Editor at Castle Gate Press and the Copy Editor/Director of Graphics for Kingdom Pen. 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.

Red Ink

In case you’ve ever wondered

What goes on in an editor’s brain,

Her desire to conquer syntax

Can cause an awful strain.

Red_Ink

A typo, a misspelling,

A hyphen out of place,

Will etch a deep, deep crease

Upon an editor’s face. [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 an Associate Editor at Castle Gate Press and the Copy Editor/Director of Graphics for Kingdom Pen. 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 – 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 an Associate Editor at Castle Gate Press and the Copy Editor/Director of Graphics for Kingdom Pen. 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.

The Girl on the Island

A young girl stood on a beach, watching the water lick at and swirl around her bare feet. But instead of glimpsing her obscured reflection in the undulating ripples, she beheld visions of sorrows she had experienced and outcomes she wished had been different.

The sea foam receded as her thoughts deepened, and she didn’t notice the rectangular object that was wedged in the sand alongside her until she stumbled over it.The Girl on the Island

The object clanked open, revealing a small sack and a damp piece of parchment. She snatched up the items before the waves enveloped them again.

Weighing the rusty, dented box in her hand, she scanned the ocean and the bridge to the mainland for any sign of ships or travelers. The container was much too heavy to have floated, and she wondered how long it had lain there and who had lost it. She examined it for identifying markings, but couldn’t find any, so she tossed it back into the water. Then she untied the sack. Inside were some kind of pellets—perhaps seeds.

She unfolded the parchment, expecting whatever message it might have contained to have washed away. To her surprise, however, the ink was smeared but legible. [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 an Associate Editor at Castle Gate Press and the Copy Editor/Director of Graphics for Kingdom Pen. 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 an Associate Editor at Castle Gate Press and the Copy Editor/Director of Graphics for Kingdom Pen. 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.

Staff Changes at Kingdom Pen

Welcome, KeePers! When we posted about our new writing interns and director of marketing several weeks back, we thought that would be all the changes to the Kingdom Pen team for a while, but apparently God had different plans.

staffannouncementAs most of you probably know from our previous posts, our illustrious editor-in-chief Reagan Ramm and amazing editor Haley Long are currently engaged to be married! With marriage, however, comes many new responsibilities, which have pulled our two core members away from their work at Kingdom Pen.

In their absence, editor Josiah DeGraaf has stepped up to be the next editor-in-chief of Kingdom Pen. Reagan and Haley will still be involved as part of the newly formed “Kingdom Pen Board,” and they hope to be able to return in a more active role sometime in the future. In the meantime, though, Josiah will be assuming Reagan’s position of leading the team as we continue to put out great content for you all. We have a lot of cool plans laid out already for the upcoming year, and we’re excited to begin showing them to you.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce two new team members to the staff.

Brianna Storm Hilvety is our new copy editor and assistant graphics designer! Brianna has actually been working with the team for a couple months now, but somewhere along the way we forgot to announce her position. *Cough, cough* She copyedits all the posts that appear on the website (which is why you may have noticed an improvement on that front lately) and she also helps to create some of the beautiful graphics that accompany our articles and the quote images we post on Facebook.

Hannah Carmichael is our new editor-in-training! Hannah has been Haley’s apprentice for the past few months and will be transitioning into taking over the editor role from Haley by the end of this year. She will be reviewing all poetry submissions with Mackenzie and uploading the majority of the content (articles, poems, short stories, etc.) to the website.

You can read Brianna’s and Hannah’s bios below.

Brianna Storm Hilvety

Processed with RookieBrianna Storm Hilvety 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.

By the age of twelve, she had devoured several books about the writing industry, could wield a thesaurus with deadly skill, and knew how to format a manuscript for submission to a publisher. During high school, she authored columns in two small Christian periodicals and won an assortment of short story and essay contests. In 2011, she composed a three-part treatise for Homeschool Enrichment Magazine that described the lessons she’d learned while tinkering with two fantasy novels (which still have not been developed or refined to her satisfaction).

After suffering a debilitating case of writer’s block, she struggled with guilt that her own perfectionism was hindering her from fulfilling her calling. But then God placed people in her life who needed her aid in polishing their manuscripts for the cause of Christ, and she realized that her weakness could become a strength if it were channeled differently. Now 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.

As a homeschool graduate and an introvert, she is an independent thinker who is not afraid to express her opinions—provided it’s on paper. 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. To explore Brianna’s realm, visit: www.TheLiteraryCrusader.com

Hannah Carmichael

Hannah Carmichael dreams of a world where she can be fully paid to work from home with her three cats and a jar of Nutella, all while wearing her pajama pants.

Hannah is delusional; don’t be like Hannah.

All joking aside and the Lord willing, she hopes to someday be a published author and kick off a fabulous career as a freelance illustrator to glorify God and bless those around her.

Most of her days are spent helping to homeschool her siblings, reading, and editing her two novels in the making.

Although born in Florida, Hannah far prefers her home in Indiana where she lives with her large family and amazing OTP parents. (That she ships very strongly.)

Because of all the awesome support her family and friends provide, someday she may even be famous! Or, at the very least, you might pass her on the street while exiting McDonald’s, but that’s close enough, isn’t it?

If you like, you can follow Hannah on Instagram where she frequently posts her art under the code name watersnail1.
__

Finally, we want to thank all of you for following us the past several years and for participating in the Kingdom Pen community! We love the work we do and are excited to be taking these next steps!