Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
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Joined: February 17th, 2011, 2:08 pm

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

Post by shelldolb » February 17th, 2011, 3:13 pm

Sorry for the second post. I had computer tec error come up and didn't realize that it had posted alreday.
Last edited by shelldolb on February 17th, 2011, 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 2
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 2:08 pm

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

Post by shelldolb » February 17th, 2011, 3:18 pm

Title: Past Sins

Genre: Fiction/Suspense/Thriller
Word Count: 237


Steven stood in front of the jury box consisting of five women and seven men. He knew before he even gave his closing argument that he was about to lose his very first case. Had it been any other case other than this one, he would have been extremely upset, but he knew better than anyone else that the man sitting at the table next to him was without a doubt as guilty as hell.

He could vividly recall the day that he had been assigned to the case, none of the other lawyers in the firm wanted anything to do with the man, or the battle that lay ahead. Steven, however, eagerly accepted the challenge. He knew from the very beginning that it would be a difficult, if not an impossible case to win.
The police had done a good job over the past six months collecting indisputable evidence against his client. Still, this did not deter him, for Steven the case was one of a personal nature, one that would benefit him further down the road.

Not only had this man raped and killed all seven of his victims, but he had also slashed every one of their faces beyond the point of recognition. Due to the violent brutality of the crime, and the calling card that his client left behind after each killing, the media had nicknamed his client “The Slasher.”

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Joined: February 17th, 2011, 4:42 pm

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

Post by Collectonian » February 17th, 2011, 5:12 pm

[DELETED] - so greatly changed now :-)
Last edited by Collectonian on July 11th, 2011, 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 4
Joined: February 7th, 2011, 7:17 pm

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

Post by jenisefrohlinger » February 17th, 2011, 6:11 pm

Title: to be determined
Genre: Paranormal
Word count: 253

Seth stared out of the taxi cab window and his stomach turned. Oh no, was he going to throw up? He always felt like throwing up when he got nervous. Breath deep, there was no reason to be nervous. Why should he be nervous when he was the luckiest guy on earth? He was in love with the most perfect, smart, quirky, and beautiful woman and she was in love with him and they were going to get married. Elyse was his little piece of heaven. Seth had just purchased the ring and he was going to surprise her. All he had to do, first, was get her grandfather’s permission. That shouldn’t be too hard, not really, kind of. Who was he kidding? Louis Cypher scared the shit out of him. The man was power incarnate and he controlled half the politicians in Washington, not that anyone could prove it. One misstep from the wrong person and Cypher could probably off them with a single phone call. Either that or they’d wake up next to a bloodied, decapitated horse head…scary. And that was nothing compared to how he was about Elyse. When it came to his granddaughter he was a mother bear ready to attack, maul and mutilate any potential threats. So who could blame Seth for being nervous? The one saving grace Seth had was that Cypher never saw him as a threat. To Cypher, he was just an ant on the wall and his usual attitude toward Seth was tolerable indifference.

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Joined: February 17th, 2011, 7:37 pm

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

Post by MarkM » February 17th, 2011, 8:23 pm

Title: The Adventures of Suzy Stitch
Genre: YA fiction/adventure
Word Count: 216

Chapter 1 – Stupid Questions

There once was a girl named Suzy Stitch. Her friends, Nelly Know-it-all and Penelope Pin Pusher, said that her last name rhymed with hitch, ditch, Mitch, which, and another word that they wouldn’t say in her hearing.

They also said that her name rhymed with “cliché”, but which Suzy said proved that they didn’t know anything at all, because,

“…after all ‘c-l-i-c-h-é is not pronounced ‘clitch’ but ‘cliché’,” and that does not rhyme with “Stitch” at all. Suzy was a very practical girl and did not look upon rhyming favorably.

Her friends then whispered that other word to each other, the one that rhymed with Stitch, but not so that Suzy could hear.

Who is Suzy Stitch? It is the same Suzy Stitch that disproved the famous “stitch in time” riddle.

She announced her findings at the annual “Seamsters Convention” saying, “A stitch in time does not always save nine. My research has shown that, depending on fabric, thread weight, and skill of the seamstress, a stitch in time could save anywhere between one stitch and a hundred, with the median being approximately twelve.”

“Nine,” she said in conclusion, “was probably chosen because it rhymed with ‘time’ and rhyming is always a sorry reason to mislead future seamstresses as to the success of their sewing.”

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Joined: February 17th, 2011, 3:50 pm

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

Post by semckitrick » February 17th, 2011, 9:35 pm

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Title: Memories
Here's the first 252 words:

Jack VanAllen pushed his way through the crowd as they gyrated and bounced to the music. Booming bass and beating drums reverberated in his chest and invaded his ears. Cigarette smoke hovering overhead assaulted his nose. What a way to spend New Year’s Eve.

Then the crowd cleared and the bar came into view. Every unpleasantry he encountered was forgotten. A vision of loveliness, she slid onto a barstool, wearing heels which added three inches to her above average height. But it wasn’t her height or her long slender legs that stirred his loins. Nor was it her face, for she was turned away. What woke up Little Jack was the mass of red hair cascading down her back. Oh yeah, it had been way too long since he’d been with a woman.

His friend, Frank Hamilton, pointed up ahead. “Let’s go in the back.”

The back? But it was noisier and more crowded, and not near the redhead. Oh hell, what was he thinking anyway? He didn’t come here to hook up.

Or did he?

By the time they reached the back, a couple vacated a table and Frank took it before someone else had a chance. It seemed a little too convenient. The place was packed. Tables designed for four had six or more crammed around them. For those who had no seat, they stood with drinks in their hands, talking with others doing the same. Frank probably “suggested” the couple leave. Something the old Frank would have done, anyway.

Posts: 4
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 10:03 pm

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

Post by paulajewelry » February 17th, 2011, 11:22 pm

Title: The Day Stealer
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Words: 241
An albatross. I felt it strutting back and forth on top my shell as it bobbed on moonlit waves like a pearl-colored coffin, only my face exposed at one end, vulnerable to its hooked beak threatening even now to pluck my eyes for a morsel. Perfect. Better to be blinded first if I’m to die a helpless delicacy.
I’d surfaced onto the sea. What sea? I didn’t know. I only knew I was helpless, floating on my back within the prison-like protection of my hibernation shell. No one had come to greet me but this idiotic albatross bringing his day’s catch, slopping it over my shell—his personal dinner plate.
For two days I’d spied the bird’s beak in action. Plucking and gobbling meals like a boasting fisherman. But now he was without fish. Now he fixated on me. Did he think my eyes fish eggs?
Concentrating on the path and intent of the bird, I didn’t see the nose of a jet rising from the sea, or hear breakers strike its hollow fuselage. But when something dark dropped from the sky, smacking the bird’s black back, he squawked away, and I closed my eyes, hearing voices, smelling the sweat of Humans.
“Hey, am I drunk or is that a huge jellyfish?” a young male’s voice said.
“Is it dead?” Another boy's words were slurred.
“I betcha I can hit it from here.” Something slapped the water following the high-pitched challenge.

Marlene Nash-McKay
Posts: 2
Joined: February 17th, 2011, 3:37 pm

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

Post by Marlene Nash-McKay » February 18th, 2011, 12:59 am

Title: Black Rain
Genre: Fantasy
Word count: 253

Chapter 6

David Hamilton suffered from a self-induced social disease he fondly thought of as perpetual boredom. At twenty four years old he had seen it all, and pretty much done it all, and had become mind-numbingly bored: with it all. It was for this reason alone that he was currently finding himself in Cordova, Alaska. He had cut his summer holiday short and left the Montenegro villa, that set him back €2000 a day, in the incapable hands of his current and very much temporary fling. He sincerely hoped that she and the rest of the crowd that had been freeloading off him for the past two months didn’t completely trash the place, since that was exactly the sort of ammunition his father needed to cut his allowance (again). Besides, he was considering buying the double storey for reasons that had nothing to do with its spectacular setting. Stringent in their observation of those little things that governed old school money, mommy and daddy summer vacationed in Monte Carlo and that, thankfully, put the Adriatic smack bang in between them.

His stomach cramped painfully as the hunger finally managed to fight its way through the dying chemical spasms in in his system. David dialled reception and ordered a toasted sandwich with a side salad, no onions and extra feta. The hotel did not have an actual room service, but to his mind that was a minor detail and of no consequence. Money, he knew, dictated that when you ask for something, you get it.

Chris Qualls
Posts: 2
Joined: February 18th, 2011, 2:01 pm

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

Post by Chris Qualls » February 18th, 2011, 2:07 pm

Title: A Phantasm in Time
Genre: Science Fiction
Full story word count: 19,991.
Page one word count: 255

Laughing, the woman pulled a man beneath the sheets as the lights of the Las Vegas Strip cast a kaleidoscopic glow into the room. As the two rolled in passion, an apparition stared at them from the doorway. It walked through them to sit upon the headboard, hanging over them like a gargoyle. They showed no awareness of the apparition's presence as it bent down to caress the man.
The professor pulled back the sleeve of his suit to look at his watch as he walked behind the row of six students seated under humming metallic hoods that covered their heads. He said over his shoulder, “Almost time, Sid. Put a pillow on the floor in front of Kimmie in case she’s disoriented again.”
The bedroom was festooned with baseball memorabilia, and shiny trophies filled the shelves. All was quiet except for several rock doves jostling for food on a feeder outside the open window. Through the closed door, a ghostly shape entered the room, reclined on the bed and gazed at the walls.
Sid adjusted his glasses as he stepped down from the monitor dais to open the closet behind it. He pulled out two body pillows and laid one down in front of a dark-skinned female. He then put the other pillow in front of a blond male and proceeded back to the dais. Noticing the professor’s expression as he sat down, Sid said, “Robert had a rough re-entry last time, Dr. Kyriakidis. Knowing him, he’s going to need that pillow."

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Location: Northern California

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

Post by RedBrick » February 18th, 2011, 10:58 pm

Title: Rex Royale
Genre: Contemporary mystery
Length: 212 words

The peaceful Northern California community of Burney is shocked when two bodies are recovered from a picture-postcard lake. One body is Rex Royale, a charismatic Las Vegas tycoon who was developing an Indian casino near Mt. Shasta. The second is a transient woman with no apparent connection to Royale. The sheriff suspects the double murders may be linked to missing local women whose bodies have not been found.

Tyler Bonnard, a reporter who discovers the bodies, joins forces with Hannah Bergren, a free-lance writer, widow, and single mom who wrote about Royale’s controversial casino. But Hannah has a secret; she was seduced by Rex’s charm and intriguing background, born in Castro’s Cuba, whose Cuban and Jamaican parents had a famous orchestra that played in Havana’s casinos and who trafficed with Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Frank Sinatra, JFK, and George Raft. Hannah fears her affair with Royale will be exposed, ruining her reputation and throw the lives of her young girls in turmoil and scandal.

Investigating the dual murders, Tyler and Hannah uncover numerous suspects: disgruntled environmentalists, irate community leaders, and rogue backwoods characters. A series of arsons and mysterious shootings adds to the fear in the community. In a bloody climax, Hannah and Tyler discover that the crimes are linked to a well-disguised killer who has been hidden in Burney for decades.

Rex Royale is a completed 100,000-word murder mystery. The story is told from the dual POV of Tyler and Hannah as they struggle with secrets and personal traumas.

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Joined: February 19th, 2011, 3:38 pm

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

Post by daughter » February 19th, 2011, 3:50 pm

Title: Faultlines and Fractures
Genre: Memoir

“Control? It’s ridiculous to talk about mother having control. She can’t do anything but eat and shit and she needs help to do that!”

My sister’s words clattered packet-style down the phone links between Ohio and Alaska, nicked my ears with their little sharp edges, and bounced away around the kitchen. I'd been in the midst of starting dinner when I picked up the phone, and now I was gazing across the living room through the windows of our high-rise, watching but not really registering the red tail-lights flowing away from me and up the opposing slope toward the lighted buildings that relieved the pitch dark of a barely-past-solstice Anchorage winter evening.

We were in the middle of a conversation about our mother’s caregivers, initiated by Janice and apparently intended to bring me to recognize the offensiveness of my behavior in asking those caregivers to take mother out of the house occasionally and to consult with her about decisions that affected her. It had been an unpleasant call so far, as calls from Janice had lately tended to be. In earlier calls and conversations, though, she had at least maintained a façade of concerned daughterhood. This brutal characterization of mother was like a curtain opening and revealing a glimpse of a totally different backstage.


It took me aback so much my reaction leaped across my synapses and straight off my tongue. “I don’t think you like mother very much.”

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Joined: February 21st, 2011, 12:27 am

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

Post by katenixon » February 21st, 2011, 12:40 am

Title: The Garnet Brooch
Genre: popular fiction
Word count: 252

“A fake, what do you mean, my inheritance is a fake?” I almost shriek, but my sister Bobbie doesn’t react. She is maddingly calm. From her phone a thousand miles away in Indianapolis, she explains that the garnet brooch is just red glass and as soon as Mom’s lawyer gives the okay, she’ll mail it to me.
I can’t deal with one more thing right now. It’s not that the family heirloom is worth all of ten dollars. We knew Mom had nothing of real value to pass on. It’s that this conversation brings home again that she is gone.
As the walls of my small galley kitchen close in, the beach beckons and offers comfort. “Bobbie, I’ve got to go, the dog’s throwing up.” It’s the only excuse I can quickly invent. “I’ll call you later, tonight.” I hang up.
Saga, my Weimaraner, looks up at me with her eerie yellow eyes. She knows the word dog applies to her and her archenemy, Sandy, the gentle cocker spaniel three doors to the north. She tilts her head and looks ready to growl if I mention the other dog’s name. I stroke her velvet gray ears and grab my sunglasses and key ring. Together we go out to the beach and turn south.
The warm afternoon sand alternates with gentle gulf waters washing over my toes. I foolishly try to outrun my thoughts while snippets from the past few weeks rush through my mind like a movie on a frantic fast forward.

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Joined: February 21st, 2011, 12:44 pm

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

Post by archibella » February 21st, 2011, 12:50 pm

Title: Better Halves
Genre: Commercial/ Multicultural/ Women's fiction
Word Count: 250

For years, she fashioned her heart into a plastic thing so it would be untouchable. But she had forgotten that plastic, though unbreakable, was not invulnerable. What happened this morning was just a reminder of that. The new waitress had left a stack of crockery in the oven because the dishwasher was full, and the chef turned it on without checking. When they smelt the burning odor, it was too late. The plates had spread themselves over the racks like a Salvador Dali painting, and the bowls dripping toward the oven base like newly formed stalactites. The girl was bawling. She begged to be given a second chance. She didn’t think anyone would use the oven; after all they made sushi, not pizzas. The manager wasn’t amused. She fired the girl and ordered Meg to clean up. For two hours, Meg scrapped at the mess with a spatula, her hand slowly being roasted inside the oven (which was set to one-hundred degrees Fahrenheit to soften the plastic). To make it worse, it was also the hottest day in British history, with the temperature outside rivaling that of the oven. Meg would remember that day forever, not because of the misery she was put through, but because it marked the beginning of the end of her waitressing career.

It was three o’clock by the time the oven was clean. The restaurant was deserted and so were the streets. All the investment bankers seemed to have abandoned the City for the countryside.

*I'm in a dilemma about whether to junk my first 3 lines. Please advise!

Posts: 19
Joined: December 23rd, 2009, 4:01 pm

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

Post by RiayNight » February 21st, 2011, 9:47 pm

Title: Euphoria
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
(207 words)

I traveled swiftly upon the abandoned pavement, moving with celerity and without hesitation. The deserted road stretched into oblivion, winding and twisting in contortions that were reminiscent of a serpent. In the far distance, a covered bridge hovered like an enormous, shadowy mouth, devouring the snake-like asphalt. Dark and sinister clouds formed an unharmonious congregation above me, swelling with rain, threatening to purge upon the earth as they released their cacophonous cries. The surrounding forest loomed around me, ominous and enigmatic. A rough gust of wind enveloped me in its unsavory embrace, lifting and teasing my hair. I shivered, clutched my coat tighter around myself, and picked up the pace.

My path carried me directly to the covered bridge. Though I could see the light on the opposing side, where one would make their exit from the shelter of the overhanging cover, the sides and the roof of the structure seemed to tower like the intimidating foyer to a dank and endless cave. Upon reaching its threshold, the sky growled menacingly, as if it was warning me to voyage no further. I felt immobile for a moment; my foot wavered in the air above the warped wood, hovering in indecisiveness. I wondered if I should turn back…

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Joined: May 22nd, 2010, 4:41 pm

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

Post by epcaldwell » February 24th, 2011, 11:36 am

genre: Paranormal?/Syfy?
Title: Evolution of Monsters
Book # 1,First in series
Pamala Owldreamer

Evolution of Monsters
Before I begin this amazing and horrifying tale,I must write this disclaimer.No part of this story is intended to cast aspersions on or portray any nationality,race,religious affiliation,career choice,age group,or gender in a bad light.Any resemblance to any persons living or deceased is merely coincidental.The story however;is true and as accurate as I can remember.I was in shock for days after learning the truth.
The story starts during the period of the dinosaurs.Humans did not exist at that time,or so we have been led to believe. That being said,for your own safety, suspend everything you have been told and learned up to now and judge the truth of this new information in the light of which it is intended.A WARNING of places and people to avoid,in the dark,in the night and alone if you value your life.
No one is exactly sure when this began.Perhaps million or thousands of years ago. all we know is a well meaning family rescued an unusual creature from a flood that covered the earth. They gave it shelter,food and a warm dry corner on their gigantic ship.
Time passed,as time does and one day the daughter noticed the bird like creature had a clutch of newly laid eggs in it's nest.By now it had been raining for forty days and forty nights and food was becoming a bit scarce.Her father would not allow any creature on board to be eaten,but eggs would surely not count.they were not hatching as yet,so she reached down to gather the eggs.
Evening time was near and supper,such as it was,was on the table. The mother noticed her daughter was missing and asked her son to fetch her.He grumbled but did as he was told.Some time later,the mother was concerned. her son had not returned with his sister.She hurried to the lower deck to bring them both back before her husband was seated at the table.
The husband was tired from a day of searching for dry land. He seated himself at the table and frowned, usually he was the last to be seated.Concerned,he rose and headed to the lower deck to fetch his family.
The strange bird like creature cleaned her nest from the debris from her meal and checked her eggs.Small sounds from the eggs,told her hatching was near. A loud crash followed by a tremendous shudder sent her eggs rolling from the nest and through the large gaping hole in the side of the vessel.
She rushed to the hole and peered out,but her eggs were nowhere to be seen in the churning water.Smoke from the fire which started in the deserted frying pan left on the stove in the kitchen reached the creatures nostrils and she knew to save her eggs,she had to brave the elements of the raging storm and she dived through the hole in the side of the sinking ship.
Hours later,the exhausted creature,tucked her rescued eggs under her and slept in the new nest warmed by the sun.Finally,after forty days and nights, the rain had stopped,the sun shone once again, and the flood waters had miraculously receded.
She had no appreciation for the end of the spectacular rainbow,which bathed her nest in a myriad of colors,she had eyes only for the sounds of her eggs hatching. neither did she know,the land hosting her would one day be overrun with thousands of a new species.
Many years had passed since the flood and the home of the long dead creature was now inhabited by many creatures of all shapes and sizes. The female creature's bones and shards of her hatched eggs now rested in a museum with the bones of many other creatures. The place she had landed and raised her young, was now known as Miami,Florida.
Her offspring still inhabited the area. However; they had evolved into a very unique species and roamed the city undetected. They were cunning,intelligent, able to disguise themselves and very deadly.
However;their diet had not changed. They ate only fresh meat and there was a lot of fresh meat in a city the size of Miami!
This story started as a recurring story on my blog.I fell in love with it and decided to end it as a blog story and turn it into a novel.When finished it will be the first book in a series. The first chapters are still on my blog if anyone would like to read them contact me and I will send them a link to my blog.

Posted by Owldreamer at 10:40 AM

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