NEW - Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
Chris Qualls
Posts: 2
Joined: February 18th, 2011, 2:01 pm

Re: NEW - Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Chris Qualls » October 18th, 2019, 6:19 pm

TITLE: Surfing On The Edge Of Creation
GENRE: Science Fiction
1st Page: 238 words.

The surfer, clad in a red metallic body mesh, guided his robotic surf board through the chum that rose with the big wave as it neared the beach. The lights on one side of the board flashed wildly as it altered its course, and the surfer crouched on the board. Suddenly from inside the wave a great white shark leapt for the surfer. In response, the surfer raised his left arm to avoid the shark while the board maneuvered under the wave’s crest to maximize the distance from the shark. A few of shark’s teeth contacted the material covering the surfer’s body and broke as they slid across his forearm, and in the same motion the surfer used his right hand to push up under the shark to create the appearance that he’d thrown it over his head. The surfer rode the wave into shore without further incidents, and the crowd cheered as he emerged from the surf.

Pulling back from the image on the beach club deck’s big screen in the twilight, the MC turned from the screen, looked out over the crowd, and said, “For that awesome show of keeping his cool as the king of predators missed him by inches, and for wowing us with some most excellent moves in avoiding becoming dinner, we give this year’s trophy to Athuhv Leander Chaska Clemens, the 2043 winner of the South African Open Extreme Shark Surfing Competition!”

Posts: 1
Joined: October 28th, 2019, 9:15 am

Re: NEW - Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Texnow » November 16th, 2019, 11:59 am

by M. C. Rogers
Title: For Luck and Safe Passage
Genre; Early Middle Grade
First 250 words

I’ve never before talked about the summer my cousin, Henry Jack, and I set out to find the Treasure of Og. I supposed no one would believe such a fantastic story. Besides, I thought it was over. Finished. Now I’m not so sure.
There have been signs. I think you should be prepared.
I want you to know what I remember about that long-ago time. When I am finished you must decide what to believe.

It was shaping up to be an ordinary day in little Ermaline, Texas. I was 9, almost 10, passing the time finishing a chalk drawing on the sidewalk in front of the Yum Yum Cafe. My father owned the Yum Yum. He was finishing up inside. The lunch crowd had gone and so had Bean, the old cook. He’d be back before supper, but Tuttie, the Yum Yum’s only waitress, had gotten married and wasn’t coming back. There was a brand-new Help Wanted sign in the window.
A large dust cloud whirled down Main Street. It hadn’t rained in a long time and dust clouds were a common sight. But this one was different. It fell apart in front of the Yum Yum dumping dried leaves, bits of paper and a little woman onto the curb.

Posts: 1
Joined: January 9th, 2020, 10:49 pm

Re: NEW - Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by GFripley » January 9th, 2020, 10:55 pm

Title: The Langorian Queen
Genre: Fantasy

Craig ran as fast as he still could, crashing through low branches and spiny waist-high shrubs that sliced his arms, causing rivulets of blood to run down to his hands. They looked bad, but it was the gaping wound in his thigh that was starting to slow him down. He was losing a lot of blood, could hardly breathe, and his head was spinning. Behind him he could hear them crashing through the undergrowth. They were gaining on him, and he had dropped his sword some time ago, but it hadn’t been much use to him anyway; he hadn’t known how to use it properly, just well enough not to die five minutes ago.

He stumbled, falling into the knee-deep snow before forcing himself up once again. Then something hit him in the back throwing him forward and back down onto his knees. Craig looked down to see the point of a bloody spear sticking out of the right side of his chest and felt a weight pulling him backwards. He tried to comprehend what was happening, but he was hypnotised by the drops of his own blood that he watched slowly oozing down to the tip before dropping down on the sparkling white snow-covered ground. Each ragged breath was becoming more painful than the last.

When he raised his head, he could see through his blurring vision that he was in the centre of a circle of pale humanoid creatures. They looked ugly.

‘Why are you doing this?’ he sobbed as they gathered around him.

Posts: 1
Joined: January 10th, 2020, 2:25 pm

Re: NEW - Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by ddub » January 10th, 2020, 3:00 pm

Title: The Song of Kate Elizabeth
Genre: Literary Fiction

I feel as though I’m walking in a completely different, flat outdoor space, breathing completely different air. This never gets old. Yet here, in this the calibration zone, or the “calzone,” as it’s starting to be called in the forums, which really bugs me, it is extremely foggy, as per usual. But it’s so very foggy this time that I can only see the ground that I step on, as well as my feet, of course, or my shoes, to be precise, and my trench coat, which is flapping around below like a slack sail. If I’m not mistaken, this is the very same blackish striped trench coat that I used to wear back in my 20s. Why am I even wearing this old thing? I suppose it’s fitting, as I might have worn something like this when I saw her last.

What I have to do now is concentrate, and take the specific number of steps in the proper order, to engage the runtime. Or else I’ll just end up right back at home where I started. Must remember to move with the breath. Consistency is key. Place the foot. Breathe. Step. Shift, breathe, and… step. I’m trying not to imagine what this might look like from the outside, as if I’m performing some sort of elaborate rain dance, or martial arts ritual; must focus on performing the steps.

Posts: 1
Joined: January 10th, 2020, 7:38 pm

Re: NEW - Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Marlo » January 10th, 2020, 7:55 pm

Historical Fiction/Marlo
San Francisco, California March 1900

I have accompanied my Aunt Netta to San Francisco this day against my better judgement. Determined to sign a new young writer for her “Overland Monthly” literary magazine, she’ll wheedle me into editing and reviewing his work then publish it under her own byline. I always capitulate. After all, when I was orphaned as a child, she took me in. She is my surrogate mother. I owe her.
I first regard this Jack London reflected in the mirrored vestibule of Young’s Café. He sports an ill-fitting white linen suit, rumpled, but clean. Slim, yet solid, he appears younger than his purported twenty-four years. London grinds out his cigarette on the checkered marble floor and steps forward. I cannot tolerate tobacco. Its smoke makes me nauseous. I steel myself to survive this lunch appointment.
“Mrs. Eames,” his voice a voice a surprising tenor. “This must be Miss Kittredge—your niece, Charmian.”
Netta Eames simpers and plays stubby fingers over gray waves held tight against her head by a fist of a bun. London doffs his newsboy cap, dousing forehead his with a cascade of chestnut curls and turns to me.
I nod and proffer my hand. He presses the top of my palm with his thumb and with long fingers tickles my palm, winking as he does. Does he meet every women this manner? In spite of his tease, I am intrigued.

Posts: 1
Joined: January 14th, 2020, 9:44 pm

Re: NEW - Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by jakubzoltowski12 » January 14th, 2020, 9:48 pm

Title - The butcher

Once again he proved that the world has criminals, deep in the ass.

He turned his back and left in the shadow.

Come inside me, said knocking on the door, enter through the open door

The children are crying when the butcher is walking through the streets.

He screams, a little louder, louder, louder until we blow out the simple things and run away from the square reality — Apparently, he kills only at night.

The body stuck to the wall dead.

To die is a pleasure
he laughs again in his head
with the willingness of death in the eyes.

She sits chained to a chair closer than her imagination allows.

Breathes the remains of glitter,
She lacks oxygen and loses her words.

Black room, red ink, on a green wall.

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