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.


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.

UPDATE: Due to some feedback I’ve made some  rewrites. I’m not finished with them, nor are they necessarily far enough, but it’s at least version 1.5 instead of 1.0. These are the changes, put up just in case anyone wants to read the revised version I’m now working from.

Warning: It’s a big ol’ block of text, pretty much 3 snippets worth.


Halfway into summer vacation, my best friend Mabel and I spent the morning down at the beach. Both of us had carved out an hour and a half from our schedules to catch a little sun, splash in the water, and search for interesting seashells and sea glass. I watched the sunlight dance on the water, listened to the waves shush over the sand, and breathed in the salt and decay smell of the air.

Then, two dolphins appeared out in the deep water. They launched out of the waves, silver-gray bodies trailing crystal drops before they splashed into the ocean’s surface. Faintly, I heard my friend calling my name.

Come on, Ev!” Mabel huffed, exasperated.

I reluctantly turned from the spectacle of the dolphins. Mabel’s easy-going, but a stickler about being on time, and we had a lunch appointment. Without her, I perpetually ran a few minutes late. Since I wasn’t looking forward to the strained atmosphere these mother-daughter lunches always had, I was in no big rush.

“Ev!” Mabel repeated.

“What?” I glanced back at the sea to say goodbye to the dolphins. Just then, a human form broke the surface of the water near the shore, and swam towards me. “Coming! Just a sec!”

Mabel spotted the person in the water, glanced at her watch, frowned, but nodded. It might be one of our friends, after all, and Mabel never encouraged me to be rude. I don’t need encouragement, she says, because I have rudeness down to an art.

The returning tide lapped over my bare feet, and I wiggled my brown toes into the damp white sands. Just then, the waves washed a strand of seaweed over my left foot. Ugh!  I took a step back from the slimy plant, but it entangled my toes. I hopped backwards, shaking my contaminated foot to free myself. When that failed, I leaned down and flicked the seaweed back into the water.

“It won’t hurt you,” a male voice said.

I straightened. While I’d been escaping the floating plant life, the swimmer had reached shore, and now stood a few feet away. He wasn’t anyone I knew, so I took the opportunity to study him.

White blond hair plastered against his head and dripped into hazel eyes. The swimmer’s golden tan was pretty standard for Santa Monica. His choice of attire, dark green swim shorts, displayed a swimmer’s build, lean and muscled. Nice, but judging from that grim expression, not friendly.

“Ev!” Mabel’s a tolerant soul, probably the only reason she hasn’t murdered me yet. But she was reaching her boiling point.

The smirking Adonis still waited for me to respond, and I thought about defending myself. I wasn’t one of those girly girls who perfected her tan, never got in the water, and ran shrieking from dead fish and aggressive seagulls. And he had shattered the calm I’d hoped to take with me, to cope with the pressures of Mother’s expectations. But my stress wasn’t really his fault, so I turned on my heel and raced back to Mabel.

“Yeah, run! That’s what they all do!” He yelled, condescension dripping from his voice.

Mother says a lady rises above pettiness, and really, I try to let jerky comments go. But I can’t help but be angry. Sometimes, I don’t want to swallow it down to burn in the pit of my stomach.

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

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

I marched towards him, feeling the sand shift under my toes.

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 run 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.

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.

5 responses »

  1. […] it’s at least version 1.5 instead of 1.0. If anyone wants to read the changes, they’re here. Further posts may have some overlap as I move bits […]

  2. Ooh. Is that static electricity I feel? I like the vibes and Evelyn attitude. I enjoyed reading this very much.

    • caitlinstern says:

      I’m glad someone liked the revised version. 🙂
      When I got the notes about shifting POV less, it seemed a daunting task. But it’s going okay so far.
      Thanks for the comment!

  3. […] it’s at least version 1.5 instead of 1.0. If anyone wants to read the changes, they’re here. Further posts may have some overlap as I move bits […]

  4. […] made some  rewrites. (Snippets since #11) If anyone wants to read the changes, they’re here. Further posts may have some overlap as I’ve moved things […]

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