Jennifer M Eaton’s doing a blog hop critique–250 words (plus the end of the last sentence)–you post, critique others from the list, and critique back anyone who gives you a critique.

sunday_snippets2

This is from Changeable, which will be a YA urban fantasy with two narrators. I’m experimenting farther from my comfort zone on this one, so I may fail, but I’m enjoying the effort.

Link to Part 1, and Part 2 if you need it.

Summary: At the beach, Evelyn is watching two dolphins when her friend Mabel yells that they need to go. Both spot a swimmer headed to shore, and wait. The tide washes seaweed on Evelyn’s bare foot and she does a ‘get-it-off’ dance, which the swimmer makes a snarky comment about. Instead of responding, Ev starts to leave. He yells ‘Run, that’s what they all do!’ after her.

*    *     *     *

I skidded to a halt, throwing up little flurries of sand, and pivoted to face him.

He hadn’t moved. He just stood there, judging me. Well, I’ve been judged enough today, buster. If you want to pick a fight, you chose the wrong girl.

I marched towards him, digging my heels into the sand.

Mabel groaned. I’d better act quickly, before she intervened.

“I wasn’t running from you. Though with that winning personality, I wouldn’t be surprised if people do flee from you.”

Well, that wiped the smirk right off his face. In fact, he seemed surprised. Why? Did he think I wouldn’t stand up for myself? Jerk.

“I’ve got someplace to be, so if you’re done…” My glare said he’d better be finished, because I was so done with him.

 

ANTHONY

Cynthia and I love the ocean. That’s why we lived on the beach, and spent every moment we could out on the water. Sometimes I couldn’t get away, and felt like I might burst a vein from frustration. There’s so much weighing me down. But it felt great in the waves, weightless and free. Too bad we couldn’t stay there forever.

I dove under the cool water, deeper and deeper, light dimming. When my lungs ached for air, I raced for the bright wavering spot of sun. I launched though the ocean’s glassy surface, and with a twist, splashed down. Bobbing on the waves, I relaxed while Cindy played.

I felt someone’s gaze on me and turned shoreward. Someone was watching us!

*    *     *     *

Click on over to these great writers to check out and critique what they’ve posted!

http://mermaidssinging.wordpress.com/

https://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/

http://ileandrayoung.com

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com

http://jennifermeaton.com/

http://richardleonard.wordpress.com

http://jordannaeast.com

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com

http://itsjennythewren.wordpress.com/

http://wehrismypen.wordpress.com

http://jlroeder.wordpress.com

http://mandyevebarnett.com/

http://www.michellezieglerauthor.com

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

14 responses »

  1. Like the way his facial expression changed when he was challenged. Can’t see much you need to change.

  2. Joe Owens says:

    Caitlin, I liked your character’s response, but feel like the guy would have said something else. I am not sure, probably due to the limited words how the two parts flow together, but there is not much wrong with your story telling here.

    • caitlinstern says:

      This snippet kinda falls in an odd place–the two previous were all narrator one, and there’s only a bit of this 250 left for number two.
      This is my first stab at a male narrator, and being female, I’m not sure about his voice. I’ll think about his dialogue, see if there’s something else he should say.
      Thanks for the comment.

  3. M. Ziegler says:

    I like your descriptions of the sand and waves. You do a great job. The confrontation seems to end abruptly. Would her friend have started to drag her away by now? You mention that ‘she had better act fast.’ Otherwise great! I assume the main character will reveal why she is having such a bad day soon so people don’t think she is just a B. The second part keeps me hanging! Yeay for next Sunday.

    • caitlinstern says:

      The confrontation isn’t over yet–I’ve just switched narrators. Which I may have done too much in these first few pages… We’ll see if it works out.
      Oh, dear. I didn’t mean for Evelyn to be unlikable. Was it something in particular she did?
      Thanks for the comments!

  4. Your second paragraph has two sentences beginning ‘he,’ try to keep an eye on that sort of repetition.

    I love the feisty thought process behind this girl though; I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her. I like your dialogue too.

    Flicking over to Anthony works well. I love the phrase ‘burst a vein,; I’m not sure I’ve come across it before.

    Your hook in him being weighed down is good too; slipping it in nice and early!

    ‘…and with a twist, splashed down. Surfacing, I breathed out and in…’ Visually that seems a little back to front. I see him twisting out of the water and splashing down, but then he surfaces. Have I read that incorrectly?

    Though I’ve used the phrase ‘I felt eyes on me’ plenty of times myself, I’ve since wondered about it. Maybe gaze or stare might be better, since the current sentence gives the impression that Anthony literally has eyes on him!

    • caitlinstern says:

      I think the swimming bit was a bad mental-image to word-image translation. Or maybe the fact that you haven’t read the next paragraph, and so might have a different mental image than me. I’ll reconsider a previous version that I wasn’t sure about.
      I thought the same thing–can a narrator say something that’s technically incorrect, but people say a lot anyway? …Hmm, I think you’re right. I know better, so I may as well not conjure images of disembodied eyes.
      Thanks, as always, for your detailed critique!

  5. I am certainly engaged and intrigued.

    I’m not sure I understand this. Is the point of view omniscient? How does Evelyn know he is judging her?
    Then: Mabel groaned. I’d better act quickly, before she intervened. (sounds awkward; am not sure how she / Evelyn knows this)
    Now Anthony speaks. I find this confusing. Sorry. If I was just reading along in a novel, I would skim to get to what comes next but if I am watching for structure, I will come up with these. Hope you understand where I’m coming from?

    • caitlinstern says:

      Oh, I get what you’re saying. This is helpful feedback.
      It’s first person–from two different narrators, each viewing events with their own prejudices.
      Evelyn sees what she views as a judgmental expression, and reacts defensively. She hears her friend groan and knows from experience that Mabel will try to prevent a confrontation.
      Because people do that–read someone’s face and make conclusions. Maybe they’re shy, but we think they’re aloof and dislike us.
      Now I just have to make it work, because writers can’t explain ourselves to a reader, the writing has to do it for us…
      Thanks for your comment, I’m now going to sit in a corner and mutter to myself. 😉

  6. HELLO! HERE WE GO – IN-LINE…..

    I skidded to a halt, throwing up little flurries of sand, and pivoted to face him. [TRY MAKING THIS TWO SENTENCES TO MAKE IT A LITTLE MORE TENSE AND FLOW BETTER.]

    He hadn’t moved. [He just stood there, judging me.] DELETE INSIDE BRACKETS. REDUNDANT TO THE PREVIOUS SENTENCE, AND ALSO A POV SWITCH

    Well, I’ve been judged enough today, buster. If you want to pick a fight, you chose the wrong girl.

    I marched towards him, digging my heels into the sand. DIGGING YOUR HEELS INTO THE SAND IS HARD TO DO WHEN YOU ARE MARCHING. THINK ABOUT IT. i’M NOT EVEN SURE THAT’S POSSIBLE 🙂

    Mabel groaned. I’d better act quickly, before she intervened.

    “I wasn’t running from you. Though with that winning personality, I wouldn’t be surprised if people do flee from you.” “FLEE FROM YOU”? THIS IS CONTEMPORARY, RIGHT? THE SPEECH DOES NOT SOUND NATURAL IN THAT SENTENCE.

    Well, that wiped the smirk right off his face.[MAYBE: THE SMIRK SLID OFF HIS FACE–MORE ACTIVE] In fact, he seemed surprised. Why? Did he think I wouldn’t stand up for myself? Jerk.

    “I’ve got someplace to be, so if you’re done…” My glare said he’d better be finished, because I was so done with him.

    ANTHONY

    Cynthia and I love the ocean. That’s why we lived on the beach, and spent every moment we could out on the water. Sometimes I couldn’t get away, and felt like I might burst a vein from frustration. There’s so much weighing me down. But it felt great in the waves, weightless and free. Too bad we couldn’t stay there forever.

    I dove under the cool water, deeper and deeper, light dimming. When my lungs ached for air, I raced for the bright wavering spot of sun. I launched though the ocean’s glassy surface, and with a twist, splashed down. Bobbing on the waves, I relaxed while Cindy played.

    I felt someone’s gaze on me and turned shoreward. Someone was watching us!

    THE ANTHONY PARAGRAPHS READ FINE, BUT THE MOVE FROM ONE TO THE OTHER IS JARRING. IS THIS A NEW CHAPTER? IS THIS THE SAME SCENE? I FEEL LIKE I AM IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PLACE AND IN A DIFFERENT STORY. IS THIS HOW YOU WANT ME TO FEEL?

    I FEEL MORE EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO ANTHONY, PROBABLY BECAUSE THE INNER THOUGHT. MAYBE SOME MORE INNER THOUGH IN THE FIRST SECTION THAT IS NOT IN THE FORM OF INTERNAL DIALOG MIGHT HELP.

    HAPPY EDITING!

    • caitlinstern says:

      Most of that’s easy to fix, thanks.
      Maybe I can move some of what she’s feeling from the next pages to earlier in the story.
      I’ll put some thought in how I can smooth the transition between the two narrators. It is the same scene–I was trying to introduce the new character without repeating too much…
      Thanks for your critique, and I’ll see if I can rework going forward.

  7. […] to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 if you need […]

  8. […] to Part 1, Part 2,Part 3, and Part 4 if you need […]

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