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

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
Posts: 1
Joined: March 12th, 2020, 8:19 pm

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

Post by sherit33 » March 13th, 2020, 10:20 am

Title: Three Things
Genre: Womens' Fiction

Of all the things Lilli Darlington loved about her West London home, her favourites were the closets in the master bedroom. One for her. One for Matthew. They were an apparition in England, where the residents relied on armoires and wardrobes. In the six years they’d lived in the house, she’d only gone into her husband’s closet to deposit the dry cleaning. Now she stood frozen in the doorway, eyes flitting from the shirts arranged by color to the pairs of shoes pointing toes forward, and struggled to recall why she was there.
“Pyjamas, underwear, toothbrush,” she whispered. “Pyjamas, underwear, toothbrush.” Lilli repeated the items like a mantra that would propel her forward. Keep her from collapsing. When the police had shown up at her door to tell her Matthew had been in a serious accident, she prepared herself for the worst. And death notwithstanding, the worst was what she got.
Her husband was nearly unrecognizable, his face bruised and swollen, head shaven, and all manner of tubes and probes attached to his body. That bloody motorbike. She’d hated when he bought it but he was home so seldom that she’d not wanted to get into a row. He purchased good insurance and they joked she’d be a wealthy woman if his stupidity ever caught up with him. Today, despite wearing a helmet, Matthew and the bike were no match for a lorry that pulled in front of him without warning and drug him along underneath the carriage for 50 metres.

Posts: 1
Joined: March 13th, 2020, 2:16 pm

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

Post by 360arts » March 13th, 2020, 2:32 pm

250 words:
Slumped in my classroom’s last row, I stared at the back of my special-education classmates’ heads. James and Lauren locked lips, Jeremy drooled on his desk, and Destiny scrolled through a social media feed. Others doodled on their “mandated” worksheets while Mr. Hendricks, wearing baggy 1990’s clothing, played with his cellphone. If we had anything in common, our teacher shared our boredom. One perk came with my poor excuse of a class though and it rested in Nicole’s bra. Double D chest overflowed from her low cut shirt while she blew gum bubbles and checked her makeup. We’ve all caught Mr. Hendricks staring at her. Nicole banged half the student body, so it’s no surprise if she screwed Mr. Hendricks. She had to pass his class somehow. Kidnappers threw remedial freaks in their basement next to a boiler room with Mr. Hendricks because he compared to upstairs teachers like we compared to upstairs students.
High school imprisoned teenaged convicts, so we idled the same way my fellow inmates wasted class time in juvenile detention. Metal bars on public school basement classroom windows encouraged apathy and pieces of me died every morning I attended. Teachers don’t know anything, but they regurgitate a fraction of what they remember someone taught them and they expect us to follow suit continuing a redundant process. Basement held court, and Mr. Hendricks, our mundane jester, failed to entertain. Our school system ignored responsibility, Mr. Hendricks avoided teaching, and ADHD kids dropped out, but nobody cared. Why should I?

Posts: 1
Joined: March 13th, 2020, 5:27 pm

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

Post by Mustangpatty » March 13th, 2020, 5:38 pm

Title: Innocent for the Moment
Genre: Legal Thriller PG-13

As the sun made its first appearance over the horizon, the layers of fog and mist settled into the nooks and crannies of the Willamette Valley. Slowly as the sun rose, brushstrokes of pink and purple announced themselves and raced across the sky.

The scene was no longer the stark black trees against the white wisps of cloud, but instead vividly lit with streaks of bright orange light. The valley was flooded with color, and those who were lucky enough to watch the display felt as though they’d seen the architect of the world create something special just for them.

One of those people was Jill Adair. Wrapped in a luxurious robe while holding her favorite Italian coffee, she watched every bit of nature’s display. Though it was almost a year since she’d spent some time in jail, she still treasured each day she was able to watch the sunrise to its pinnacle in the blue sky.

Dear God—if you’re there today—thank you for this beautiful morning, the fact it isn’t raining, and for my French press. I also thank you for letting me find a way to continue to see Tom every day.

As Jill’s thoughts drifted to her obsession, her face lit from within. Her lovely features were soft in the early morning light. Natural blushes and shadows enhanced her high cheekbones and deep-set eyes. Her long locks were casually thrown over one shoulder, and the natural waves flowed all the way to the middle of her back.

Posts: 1
Joined: March 26th, 2020, 8:52 pm

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

Post by robwinnanderson » March 26th, 2020, 9:00 pm

Title: Hobo Doryn: The Nothing Tower
Genre: TA Distopian

His hand began to quake as he took aim. This would be the first. The beginning.

“Without a beginning,” Hobo thought, “there can’t be an end. And, there needs to be an end.”

Thoughts of Prior and what this could mean for her flooded his mind. The quaking stopped. He released the hounds.

Hounds. It was a ridiculous nickname. He knew that. But Hobo liked labeling things. It made them more than what was expected. There was enough of the expected in the New Harmony. He was tired of it.

The two, microscopic hounds whizzed through the morning air. Hobo grinned as they passed by an unaware ear; its owner swatting, absentmindedly, at the twin “gnats” surely attempting to make a landing pad out of his way-longer-than-necessary lobe.

They split for a brief moment, zipping around the upstretched hand of a National shouting obscenities at passing transport drivers “obviously too brainless to notice someone of my level needing to get to the Outer Bridge now! Halfwits!”

Hobo pulled out a makeshift scanner. It was constructed of three older models, and the screen of a vintage iPhone, but it worked. The green pulse instantly registered the transport hailer’s semi-perfect features.

“He deserves to be a target. Sooner than later,” Hobo said a bit too loudly.

“Damn,” he said, and then darted his eyes quickly about, hoping his outburst hadn’t blown his cover. The potentially new target had stolen his attention away from the flight of his hounds.

Posts: 2
Joined: March 27th, 2020, 11:35 am

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

Post by Vinayak » March 27th, 2020, 11:44 am

Name: [Undecided]
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Tripping again was the last thing she wanted. Another moss covered tree root failed her. In a forest of such proportions, Lassa struggled to find a suitable footing. Losing track on the way was frustrating, and now that she reached the cohort, her cohort, it was disconcerting to find them in such disarray.
“Listen here!” She shouted, and the ones close by turned, surprised at her arrival.
She ignored the swear words she heard. She didn't choose to be here anyways. That was all Ardhyne’s fault. If they had to blame someone, it was him.
“Reten is calling.” The voices echoed, until there was a discrete scream in the distance.
“What-” Lassa traced the shouts following the scream, to the banks of the slow stream tracking through the forest. “-happened? Denner?”
One of the laziest of the cohort, perhaps excluding Lassa herself, was Denner. She walked towards him, as the whimpering continued.
“The stream is corrosive.” She said, her matter-of-fact tone bringing a few more scowls than usual.
Denner screamed again. His legs were not anywhere near suitable for walking. It seemed to have melted the skin off, and his toes were smoking. There was a good deal of exposed bone, and much of the tissue seemed gangrenous.
“You could have told us this before you went off.” Kerin, the only other female in her cohort, frowned at her. It was normal, by the usual proportions. She never got any of the respect a Reten deserved, anyways.

Posts: 1
Joined: March 28th, 2020, 2:51 pm

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

Post by dory123 » March 28th, 2020, 2:58 pm

Title: Strong Roots
Genre: Women's Fiction

Some homecoming. Absolute darkness, and a dreary rain streaming down the windshield of her old Jeep.

Dana glanced at the clock. She was hours later than she’d planned, thanks to a flat tire outside of Chicago. Dark clouds had moved in while she puzzled out how to get to the jack without unpacking all of her worldly goods. As she fumbled through changing the tire, the rain let loose in earnest, leaving her and most everything she owned sopping wet.

Not much longer now, though. She decided to take the short cut and heaved on the wheel to turn onto a narrow side road, tires skidding on the greasy, wet blacktop. Vegetation closed in to form a tunnel above the car, green and lush in the beam of her headlights. She had the sensation of traveling underwater.

Dana’s neck was stiff, her shoulders tense from hunching over the wheel. The inside of the car was close and stuffy, redolent of damp clothing and the burger and fries she’d had for dinner. She cranked down the window to let the fresh scent of rain-dampened earth, of things growing wash over her and felt an immediate sense of release. Leaning as far out the window and into the wet as the seat belt would allow, she inhaled deeply. This smell was a part of her. Home.

In the cone of light ahead, a small, dark shape appeared, eyes reflecting neon green. Too late, it began to move in a quick, shambling gait...

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