Thursday, January 27, 2011

99 blog fest

Reminder: 99th Page Blogfest Happening TOMORROW

Sorry for the horrible graphic. Please send a better one.
That's right, tomorrow a blogfest with Erinn, Holly, Pam, and Quita. You can read the initial post here. If you didn't bother to click, the gist is to post page 99 of one of your writing projects and then visit everyone else who signed up. (As of 8.30 AM Thursday, we have 19 people*.)

Several people have asked what the rules are for tomorrow's blogfest. When visiting everyone else's page, you should focus and answer the following three questions:

1. Would you turn to page 100?
2. Why or why not?
3. Based on what you read, how likely would you buy the book?

So simple. So fun.

Please remember, when critting to be polite. Don't write anything you wouldn't say to the person's face. You know us writer types are a sensitive bunch.

If You want to enter go here    

This is mine, Natalie has just been kissed by Seth for the first time...these two do not communicate well!  I posted 99 fudging the beginning or end of the scene. 


other object that existed in your world at that moment.  You know for a fact that it would be easier to die than see them dead.  The word love creeps into your mind and you have read the descriptions and never understood the intensity until it happens to you.

Time melds with the rain smearing all things around me. No detail is clear except the way his lips feel so hot and sizzling upon my own.  The thumping of my heart is so loud, it is surely going to make my ears bleed.  Can he hear it?

He drew away and my soul screams at the thought of parting from this pure joy.  I let my breath out and lean toward him.  His lips brush mine again, but he swiftly and firmly pulls my head to his hot chest and he kindly kisses the top of my forehead.

“I’m sorry Natalie. I should never have…”

“Seth….i ….i don’t know….Seth….” I pull myself upright and look in his eyes.  I see regret and it hurts me.  Fears mixed with self-doubt to instantly become anger.  How could he have given me something so perfect and steal it so fast.  I am embarrassed because evidently I had not done something right and he hadn’t liked it.  I am too mortified to speak. I can’t stand the look of sadness in his eyes and I tearfully break eye contact.

“Natalie…..I….I didn’t mean to do that….It was…”he breaks off and I fill in the blanks for him. 

“Don’t worry about it… was nothing.” I lean against the door staring out the window.

“I didn’t mean to offend you.  I didn’t…..think…it just…..”He stammers.


  1. Hi,

    Pleased to meet you HowLynn, and thanks for the heads-up (crit) on my blogfest entry. I don't do crits on blogfests, despite wearing hat of published author. Unless, of course, the blogger specifically requests a critical eye in header to post. Even then I will e-mail thoughts/suggestions rather than wear an editor/critic's hat whilst on their blog.

    Your 99th page has a sizzling feel and nicely handled scene in first person POV. It's good that you're aware of past and present tense and passive voice Vs action when appraising other writers' offerings, because the hardest part is in seeing our own mistakes: in particular the tenses.

    Just keep right on writing because it can only get better as the craft becomes second-nature and our second skin.


  2. Your prose is lovely and lyrical and the tension between the two characters is really credible, so I'd love to read on. Lovely page 99!

  3. This is really good. Lots of tension. I'd read on to see what was going to happen next!

  4. Yum, I love a good kissy scene :) I want to know more. I would definitely turn the page to finish this scene. I would probably consider buying this book after investigating a little more.

  5. Like the scene and mood, etc. Good stuff. But I want you to improve so I have to say, watch tenses, read aloud to hear your own words back. There is something a little awkward with sentence structure. Promising none the less.

  6. Thank you, thank you all! Wendy You soooo will not hurt my feelings in any way! Thats what this is about. Heads up for everyone...I can't see the sneaky errors anymore....Please point out any awkwardness, syntax errors, ugly spots, off timing or anything that needs fixing. If this page has it...I can pretty much bet it isn't an orphan error. Thanks very much!

  7. Great mood, and yes there is a lot of sizzle here. I am curious to know what could have been wrong with the kiss. Clearly a lot of drama behind this moment. I would read on.

    Thanks for joining the blogfest!

  8. Needs a little smoothing out but I liked it. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I can feel the tension here, but I feel you can build it up more. Also, definitely check your verb tenses - something in the language sounded off. I need to know how this scene ends, so yes would turn the page.

    Thanks for participating!

  10. You've done a great job with oblique dialogue, really ramping up the tension. How could I not want to read more?

  11. There's a lot going on here. I do want to read more but all the ... in the dialogue was distracting. But you had excellent tension.

    Thanks for joining in the fun

  12. First, kudos on your approach to feedback. The more you try to grow, the more you will!

    I think you've got good romantic tension here, and agree that it could be drawn out even more. When he says "I never should have..." follow it with and added paragraph where she speculates all the possible ways he might end the sentence. Her voice will really shine then

    What threw me was the second person narration ("you" versus first person "I" or third person "she") at the beginning of the section. Maybe the prior page would clear that up for me, or maybe it's mixed POV. Not sure. You might want to take a look though.

    The emotion felt very real and not at all forced or faked. Good job.

  13. This feels very real. You have some punctuation and editing things that need help, but don't we all? :) The insecurity and self-esteem issues are well-written.

    Keep writing.


  14. First kisses are so fun to write. Thanks for sharing yours!

  15. Oh, the trauma of the first kiss--the joy and the pain. Lovely writing.

    I will second Alicia's comment about checking the tense/POV (although it may be because of coming in in the middle of the scene).

    I want to know what happens next!

  16. Erin...Yes Ellipses are the bane of my life. I don't know who taught me that was OK...but I hate them for it. I spend hours cutting them.

    By the way Seth is robbing the cradle a bit...Natalie is 15, he's around 38,000. He has not involved himself with humans for a couple hundred years. He's the tortured one. Imagine how hard it would be to know if you love, it will be gone in a blink. He kissed her impulsively and is mad at himself, feeling he has disrespected her. He knows he is just the worst thing that could happen to her, but she has not figured out he's a Djinn. She, like every Girl-person that age, thinks it must be her fault, won't hear him out, and jumps out of the car in a huff. Modern girls are outside poor Seth's experience.

    Lauren, I have an issue with that section too. Thank you for pointing it out. I do tense jump. In context, does it still feel bad? It is like she is explaining to someone, popping into telling, yet speaking to nobody or a mouse in her pocket. But staying in first does not fly well either. Help! anybody?

    The page before it is:

    He is confused and frustrated by my statement. “Why would you think I am not real Natalie? I am real. I can’t understand?”
    His eyes change for a moment. Something dances in the emeralds and the next thing I know, he’s slipping his hand along my cheek and is cupping the back of my head. I am so shocked by his smooth actions and the fire that rages in my throat that, as he gently pulls his head to mine, it didn’t dawn on me; I am about to get my first kiss. My mind can't sort it out until just before our lips touch. I smell the smokey aftershave he always uses and the heat from his skin reflects on mine. I am both mortified and unable to react, but inside my mind burns with intoxication and sensation.
    His lips are like instant sunburn upon my own. I suck my breath in and for the first time in my life I thought I might faint because the edges of my vision produce little lights and I am pretty sure the limo has just tilted about 30 degrees. Reality fades into nothing but heat, emeralds and the most intense yearning I have ever experienced. Something about his touch tugs at my soul and I can no more fight it than I could have flapped my arms if he’d flung me off a building.
    Falling in love is an actual sensation. You like someone and you’re pretty much in control and then the world tilts and you get dumped into an abyss of fear and wants and everything else moves away as you fall inward. The world narrows and if someone with a gun came up to you at that moment, your only thought would be to save the only other object that existed in your world at that moment. You know for a fact that it would be easier to die than see them dead. The word love creeps into your mind and you have read the descriptions and never understood the intensity until it happens to you.

  17. There's plenty of tension here. And I like the present tense immediacy. At first, I thought the whole book was in 2nd person POV (THAT would be hard to pull off)

    I'd keep reading.

  18. I read your page 98 in the comments, and the switch from first POV to, I believe, second doesn't necessarily work for me. Could you put most of that last sentence into dialogue? Maybe as part of his seduction of Natalie?
    Obviously, I'm not sure if there's more to this guy than these two pages show, but if I were inches away from my dream man and he were speaking in a soft voice, running his fingers down the side of my face, maybe even whispering some of that in my year, I may grab him and kiss the hell out of him before he could get to me.

    Know what I mean? Even moreso if the guy was, like, Hugh Jackman...

    Or you could try a rewrite in (the dreaded) third person. I haven't been very successful with it, prefering the intimacy of first person POV, but it may work.

    You'll get it, because this is good stuff. :)


  19. Time melds with the rain. I love that!

  20. Great tension and nicely written prose. The emotions are strong and believable. I'd turn the page.


  21. I'm back at your request and just now noticing all the verb tense shifts. You'll need to go over this with a fine toothed comb and make the verbs consistently present, unless your narrator is reflecting on a past event.

    Your page 98 POV shift to second person is creating too much narrative distance. Natalie is thinking these thoughts in the moment and it should sound like it. Try reworking this as first person.

    Here's my stab at a rewrite:

    Who knew falling in love is an actual sensation? It's like the world is tilting and I'm being dumped into an abyss of fear and wants and as I fall inward, everything else moves away. If someone came up to me with a gun right now, my only thought would be of Seth. Saving him. I know for a fact that it would be easier to die than see him dead. Is this love? I've read the descriptions, but none ever captured the intensity of this in-falling, out-spinning, take-a-bullet feeling.

  22. Very nice! I like the awkwardness/tension between the characters in the scene.

    Verb tense edits take forever, especially if it's changed over a rewrite.

    I would keep reading, I'm curious enough about Natalie and the drama in the scene.

  23. Thank you all so very much for all your fantastic comments and help. This was my first try at posting something I had not fussed over endlessly. It really shocks me at how fantastic everyone really is. Sheezz I thought agents and editors had trouble deciding when the stuff was I had to pick one story from this experiment...I would cry! We should pick a random agent or editor and give them a flower for goodness sake. They must really have a hard job! I don't think I have enough "No thank you" in me to last a month! Certianly not if this group represents the slush pile. We are the slush Pillars my friends. Great job everyone!

  24. I'd have a really hard time getting to page 100 but that's not your fault. I simply can't just get dropped in a manuscript like this. I need to start at page-1 because I've no idea what's going on and it becomes frustrating.

  25. I think there is a lot of tension in this one page and I would definitely keep going just to see what happens.

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