First 250 Words Smash! #54
Most Wonderful Author: KamilMost Evil Critique Master: AlyWorking Title: N/A

The driest place in the world is in Antarctica. You wouldn’t think it with the whole continent being made of ice, but it’s actually true. Right in the middle, there’s a place scientists like to call the Dry Valleys where there’s no ice at all, just crust. It hasn’t rained there in more than a million years and any moisture that manages to roll down into the valleys from the surrounding ice shelves is immediately evaporated by winds rushing through at 200 miles per hour: cold enough to freeze your skin solid or fast enough to rip it off. Oddly enough, even the Dry Valleys aren’t devoid of life. A kind of bacteria called extremophiles thrives off the harsh environment and lack of competition for food.

Read the rest of this intro plus more tips on figuring out if you’re starting your story in the right place on the bloggity blog!
(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #54

Most Wonderful Author: Kamil
Most Evil Critique Master: Aly
Working Title: N/A

The driest place in the world is in Antarctica. You wouldn’t think it with the whole continent being made of ice, but it’s actually true. Right in the middle, there’s a place scientists like to call the Dry Valleys where there’s no ice at all, just crust. It hasn’t rained there in more than a million years and any moisture that manages to roll down into the valleys from the surrounding ice shelves is immediately evaporated by winds rushing through at 200 miles per hour: cold enough to freeze your skin solid or fast enough to rip it off. Oddly enough, even the Dry Valleys aren’t devoid of life. A kind of bacteria called extremophiles thrives off the harsh environment and lack of competition for food.


Read the rest of this intro plus more tips on figuring out if you’re starting your story in the right place on the bloggity blog!

(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

Hook Me: The Game Part III

thewritingcafe:

Twice now I’ve played a game called Hook Me with my followers in which I asked them to submit titles and summaries in the form of a query letter. The goal was to hook me with their summaries and/or titles. Afterwards, I gave feedback.

This round is going to be simple.

I am only asking that you submit a summary of your story in the form of a query letter (look at paragraph 2 in the example only). Look through that link and make sure you know what a query letter is before you submit. If you want to go through the traditional publishing path, you’re going to have to write a query letter one day.

RULES

  • Length:Your submission cannot be longer than two messages sent through the ask feature.
  • Submitting: Please do not send your summary through fan mail or through the submit feature. These submissions will be deleted. Only send through the ask feature.
  • Content: Send only the summary and the genre. Put the genre at the beginning or end of the message in all caps. I will provide a list of abbreviations under the read more so that you can have more space for your submission.
  • No Anonymous: Do not send your question anonymously. If you are one of the winners, I will need a way to contact you. Anonymous submissions cannot win.
  • Nickname: I post the URLs of the winners. If you are okay with me sharing your tumblr, include a nickname (make it short, like 3 letters) at the beginning or end of your message. If you are not okay with it, do not include a nickname.
  • Original Fiction: You can only submit original fiction.

Please read this entire post to get more details:

Read More

This is an awesome opportunity and you all should do it.

First 250 Words Smash! #53Most Wonderful Author: HafzaMost Evil Critique Master: RebeccaWorking Title: “Those Who Walk the Darkness”

“Shh, yes, that’s it.” His mother’s voice guided his hand. There was a shift and he slipped. “Oh, be careful, it’s hard to get good ones like these now. They’ve started watching now.”“But they can’t always be watching, right, Mummy?” His voice was small and childish in the flickering lamplight. There was a low laugh from beyond the edge of the light.“That’s right, my son. They can’t always be on guard. The darkness cannot be banished for long, and they can’t escape the shadows forever.” He finished his last stroke and reached for the cloth to wipe. “You’re not finished yet.” His mother’s voice was sharp. He sighed as only a small child can, dramatic and exhaustive. “Moth-er!”

If you’re starting your story with a scene of shock and suspense, read the rest of this intro and find some tips on the bloggity blog about whether or not it’s working!
(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #53
Most Wonderful Author: Hafza
Most Evil Critique Master: Rebecca
Working Title: “Those Who Walk the Darkness”

“Shh, yes, that’s it.” His mother’s voice guided his hand. There was a shift and he slipped. “Oh, be careful, it’s hard to get good ones like these now. They’ve started watching now.”

“But they can’t always be watching, right, Mummy?” His voice was small and childish in the flickering lamplight. There was a low laugh from beyond the edge of the light.

“That’s right, my son. They can’t always be on guard. The darkness cannot be banished for long, and they can’t escape the shadows forever.” He finished his last stroke and reached for the cloth to wipe. “You’re not finished yet.” His mother’s voice was sharp. He sighed as only a small child can, dramatic and exhaustive. “Moth-er!”


If you’re starting your story with a scene of shock and suspense, read the rest of this intro and find some tips on the bloggity blog about whether or not it’s working!

(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #52
Most Wonderful Author: BreeMost Evil Critique Master: AnnieWorking Title: Grim Magician
On the sixth of September, Aunt Joysa died. Calette didn’t much care until a few weeks later, when her father spoke the name of the deceased in the middle of supper. He went on cutting his asparagus as though he thought he would get away with it, but her mother stilled in an instant and said, “Dalbern, I will speak with you later this evening.”“Of course,” her father said, reaching for his wine with trembling hands. The children snuck glances at one another, except for Calette, who knew better.The house was quiet by ten that night. Calette trailed her fingers over cold doorknobs as she moved down the hallway: six rooms for six children, all frozen silent.  Now down the dark staircase, bare feet crushing the carpet, careful to avoid the creaky spots. If she met anyone, she was only going to the kitchen for some water. The sconces in the hallway flickered: someone was still up. She pressed her ear to the study door and held her breath.
Lots of tips on how to elevate your dialogue and bring it to life with this new intro on the bloggity blog! Also kudos, because both Annie and I would definitely read on with this one.
Spring flu season is still abound, and unfortunately, I became a victim of it. But! After a week of rehabilitation, I can almost taste my food again. I sort of miss…flavors. And sunlight. And not breathing through my mouth.
Anyway! Back to work! Hope everyone’s summers have been magical so far.
(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #52

Most Wonderful Author: Bree
Most Evil Critique Master: Annie
Working Title: Grim Magician

On the sixth of September, Aunt Joysa died. Calette didn’t much care until a few weeks later, when her father spoke the name of the deceased in the middle of supper. He went on cutting his asparagus as though he thought he would get away with it, but her mother stilled in an instant and said, “Dalbern, I will speak with you later this evening.”

“Of course,” her father said, reaching for his wine with trembling hands. The children snuck glances at one another, except for Calette, who knew better.

The house was quiet by ten that night. Calette trailed her fingers over cold doorknobs as she moved down the hallway: six rooms for six children, all frozen silent.  Now down the dark staircase, bare feet crushing the carpet, careful to avoid the creaky spots. If she met anyone, she was only going to the kitchen for some water. The sconces in the hallway flickered: someone was still up. She pressed her ear to the study door and held her breath.


Lots of tips on how to elevate your dialogue and bring it to life with this new intro on the bloggity blog! Also kudos, because both Annie and I would definitely read on with this one.

Spring flu season is still abound, and unfortunately, I became a victim of it. But! After a week of rehabilitation, I can almost taste my food again. I sort of miss…flavors. And sunlight. And not breathing through my mouth.

Anyway! Back to work! Hope everyone’s summers have been magical so far.

(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #52
Most Wonderful Author: M. HalterMost Evil Critique Master: KatieWorking Title: N/A

Pain drove Shannon to her knees.  One hand pressed to the grit of the floor, the other clapped against bruised ribs, fingers inspecting the rungs woven through her left lung where, deep within, the impeller of a pneumatic pump struggled to turn.  Don’t cough…don’t—   Stars swarmed her vision before she was through, and a nudging at the shutters again slammed the morning into focus.  She grabbed the black-headed spear and unlatched the window, piebald head of a stallion barreling through, nostrils flared, ears thrust forward.  Her soft laugh was a small victory.“Ready, Atticus?”They sighed as one, leaning against each other in wan light before he danced away and she followed, pulling low the brim of her shabby felt hat.  By nightfall, their fields lay far behind them.


Find some thoughts on how to nail effective transitions by reading the rest of this intro and our thoughts on the bloggity blog!
And the Blogspot blog has been redesigned specifically just for the Word Smashes which seriously it was about time. If you take a look, you can read all the intros by each of the newest KSW Teamers! Plus, we’ve got more already slated to be posted soon. Aw yis.
(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #52

Most Wonderful Author: M. Halter
Most Evil Critique Master: Katie
Working Title: N/A

Pain drove Shannon to her knees.  One hand pressed to the grit of the floor, the other clapped against bruised ribs, fingers inspecting the rungs woven through her left lung where, deep within, the impeller of a pneumatic pump struggled to turn.  Don’t cough…don’t—   Stars swarmed her vision before she was through, and a nudging at the shutters again slammed the morning into focus.  She grabbed the black-headed spear and unlatched the window, piebald head of a stallion barreling through, nostrils flared, ears thrust forward.  Her soft laugh was a small victory.

“Ready, Atticus?”

They sighed as one, leaning against each other in wan light before he danced away and she followed, pulling low the brim of her shabby felt hat.  By nightfall, their fields lay far behind them.


Find some thoughts on how to nail effective transitions by reading the rest of this intro and our thoughts on the bloggity blog!

And the Blogspot blog has been redesigned specifically just for the Word Smashes which seriously it was about time. If you take a look, you can read all the intros by each of the newest KSW Teamers! Plus, we’ve got more already slated to be posted soon. Aw yis.

(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #50
Most Wonderful Author: NidoranMost Evil Critique Master: SarahWorking Title: Thief

Kaslen always thought herself to be a very good thief. The guards who caught her stealing, however, did not.She sat on a  wooden bench in a dank prison cell so old that moss grew between the stones that made up the floor and walls. The cell had a single window, only a foot tall and twice as wide with iron bars added to obstruct both the view and any chance at escape.She’d only been there a few hours (not even long enough to get a meal of stale bread and murky water), and her sentence wasn’t a long one.  For the crime of stealing a single apple from a stall in the market, her punishment was to be imprisoned for one night or lose a hand. Being an intelligent thief in addition to a very good thief, Kaslen chose the former.

If you’re wondering if you’re starting your story in the right place, we’ve got some things to think about. Read the rest of this intro and what we have to say on the bloggity blog!
(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #50

Most Wonderful Author: Nidoran
Most Evil Critique Master: Sarah
Working Title: Thief

Kaslen always thought herself to be a very good thief. The guards who caught her stealing, however, did not.

She sat on a  wooden bench in a dank prison cell so old that moss grew between the stones that made up the floor and walls. The cell had a single window, only a foot tall and twice as wide with iron bars added to obstruct both the view and any chance at escape.

She’d only been there a few hours (not even long enough to get a meal of stale bread and murky water), and her sentence wasn’t a long one.  For the crime of stealing a single apple from a stall in the market, her punishment was to be imprisoned for one night or lose a hand. Being an intelligent thief in addition to a very good thief, Kaslen chose the former.


If you’re wondering if you’re starting your story in the right place, we’ve got some things to think about. Read the rest of this intro and what we have to say on the bloggity blog!

(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

Hello, friends! I’ve been out of state for the past two weeks, hence the lull in activity, but once I get back home and into the regular routine, the 250 Words Smash intro critiques will continue.
But the Big However is that we’re now officially closed to new submissions! We’ve got a ton of work to plow through, and now that I’ve got the new theme for the next batch of exercises, I want to focus on those and have them ready for the start of summer time AKA after the end of final projects and exams hell.
So, for those of you in the midst of or about to tackle the last couple weeks of school, GOOD LUCK! We’re gonna have some fun once the worst is over!

Hello, friends! I’ve been out of state for the past two weeks, hence the lull in activity, but once I get back home and into the regular routine, the 250 Words Smash intro critiques will continue.

But the Big However is that we’re now officially closed to new submissions! We’ve got a ton of work to plow through, and now that I’ve got the new theme for the next batch of exercises, I want to focus on those and have them ready for the start of summer time AKA after the end of final projects and exams hell.

So, for those of you in the midst of or about to tackle the last couple weeks of school, GOOD LUCK! We’re gonna have some fun once the worst is over!

POSTED May 07, 2014 @ 09:01 WITH 2 notes
First 250 Words Smash! #49
Most Wonderful Author: JayMost Evil Critique Master: AngeWorking Title: The Burning Ones
As ashes of failed rebellion settle, she is the last breathing fighter. Her cage suspends four yards above ground in the middle of city square, too short for her spine to straighten and too narrow for her muscles to relax. Those who once believed in her dangle a short way above, their decay battering her weathered face. She has not spoken a word.“That girl is made of titanium.” A Justitia whistles.Twenty-two protons. Strongest lightweight metal. Corrosion-resistant. Highly flammable.The town gathers to watch her time come. Cameras pan from rooftops, grasping every angle possible for the rest of the Utopia. Rows of soldiers bow as the Chairman arrives in robe and mask—no lens may taint his image.
Here’s some insight on prologues, especially if you’ve been considering one for your own story. Also, some thoughts on word choice and whether or not your words are making the right impression! Read the rest of the intro and what we have to say about it on the bloggity blog.
(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #49

Most Wonderful Author: Jay
Most Evil Critique Master: Ange
Working Title: The Burning Ones

As ashes of failed rebellion settle, she is the last breathing fighter. Her cage suspends four yards above ground in the middle of city square, too short for her spine to straighten and too narrow for her muscles to relax. Those who once believed in her dangle a short way above, their decay battering her weathered face. She has not spoken a word.

“That girl is made of titanium.” A Justitia whistles.

Twenty-two protons. Strongest lightweight metal. Corrosion-resistant. Highly flammable.

The town gathers to watch her time come. Cameras pan from rooftops, grasping every angle possible for the rest of the Utopia. Rows of soldiers bow as the Chairman arrives in robe and mask—no lens may taint his image.


Here’s some insight on prologues, especially if you’ve been considering one for your own story. Also, some thoughts on word choice and whether or not your words are making the right impression! Read the rest of the intro and what we have to say about it on the bloggity blog.


(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #48
Most Wonderful Author: AwayLaughingMost Evil Critique Master: AlyWorking Title: In Living Memory

Neiar, who was half asleep from a long day of doing nothing, jerked awake when the large doors of the antechamber banged open and yet another woman was escorted in by black clad Sentries. With her she brought the crackle of magic, strong and clear despite the dampening spells. The girl next to Near leaned subtly toward him, one hand coming to his arm, squeezing gently.“Hedgewitch, maybe,” she said, voice pitched low. Neiar nodded, his own fingers clutching at his chair. The woman who came in was tall, hair a vibrant red. She wore simple but clean clothing with no adornment, likely not a College wife, or a member herself then.


Revealing setting creates all kinds of anxiety, especially when trying to figure out if we’re doing it too much or too little. But gain a little bit more insight by reading the rest of this intro and what we have to say about it on the bloggity blog.
(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #48

Most Wonderful Author: AwayLaughing
Most Evil Critique Master: Aly
Working Title: In Living Memory

Neiar, who was half asleep from a long day of doing nothing, jerked awake when the large doors of the antechamber banged open and yet another woman was escorted in by black clad Sentries. With her she brought the crackle of magic, strong and clear despite the dampening spells. The girl next to Near leaned subtly toward him, one hand coming to his arm, squeezing gently.

“Hedgewitch, maybe,” she said, voice pitched low. Neiar nodded, his own fingers clutching at his chair. The woman who came in was tall, hair a vibrant red. She wore simple but clean clothing with no adornment, likely not a College wife, or a member herself then.


Revealing setting creates all kinds of anxiety, especially when trying to figure out if we’re doing it too much or too little. But gain a little bit more insight by reading the rest of this intro and what we have to say about it on the bloggity blog.

(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #47
Most Wonderful Author: Darcy AddamsMost Evil Critique Master: RebeccaWorking Title: Purple Violets

The money’s all they need, the guys on the door know them. Arthur had picked the place out a few years ago, solely for the fact they gave you a wrist band instead of ‘one of those horrible tramp stamps’. The muffled base of the music flared out as they entered the building, the noise instantly clamped down on their ears. Bodies milled, sliding past each other, detailed silhouettes in the dim lighting. Coloured lights threw tints over the walls, faces flashed green for a split second, black lace glowed crimson.“Do you think Mike’s got the base amped up more than usual?” Arthur whispered half jokingly as they pushed their way passed a group of girls, cyber dreads laced into their hair. He called it a whisper, but really it was a stage whisper shouted over the music thudding into their bones. Pierre shrugged, personally he liked the way the base reverberated through the floorboards, filling the room. Like a defibrillator, it jolted his heart in to wake-up mode.

So, let’s talk about flow and consistency, because sentences don’t always sound the way we think they do. Conflict is also a pretty tricky thing to drop hints of in the first couple paragraphs of your story, but it can be done. Read the rest of this intro and what we have to say about it on the bloggity blog.
Submissions are still open, but we’re down to our last few open spots. Once the last few spots are filled, we’ll be closing until we power through our new lineup.
(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash! #47

Most Wonderful Author: Darcy Addams
Most Evil Critique Master: Rebecca
Working Title: Purple Violets

The money’s all they need, the guys on the door know them. Arthur had picked the place out a few years ago, solely for the fact they gave you a wrist band instead of ‘one of those horrible tramp stamps’. The muffled base of the music flared out as they entered the building, the noise instantly clamped down on their ears. Bodies milled, sliding past each other, detailed silhouettes in the dim lighting. Coloured lights threw tints over the walls, faces flashed green for a split second, black lace glowed crimson.

“Do you think Mike’s got the base amped up more than usual?” Arthur whispered half jokingly as they pushed their way passed a group of girls, cyber dreads laced into their hair. He called it a whisper, but really it was a stage whisper shouted over the music thudding into their bones. Pierre shrugged, personally he liked the way the base reverberated through the floorboards, filling the room. Like a defibrillator, it jolted his heart in to wake-up mode.


So, let’s talk about flow and consistency, because sentences don’t always sound the way we think they do. Conflict is also a pretty tricky thing to drop hints of in the first couple paragraphs of your story, but it can be done. Read the rest of this intro and what we have to say about it on the bloggity blog.

Submissions are still open, but we’re down to our last few open spots. Once the last few spots are filled, we’ll be closing until we power through our new lineup.

(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)