First 250 Words Smash!
Most Wonderful Author: ReneeMost Evil Critique Master: AngeWorking Title: N/A

I swung the brass-Wait, you need to hear the beginning first. I can’t leave it out. I’m sorry.I want you to know that I wasn’t always a bad person before I tell you what I did.The beginning wasn’t at my birth. There were years worth of pieces that tied together to make the beginning.My father. The way anger would distort his long face. The scar across his bottom lip, shaped like a half moon. The way he’d take me outside in the mornings he was home and watch birds with me. The weeks that went by without anyone hearing a word from him. He would come back with bruises and cuts on his face.

If you’ve been considering starting your story with exposition or backstory, take a look at the rest of this intro and our critique. I’ve seen on-point advice on how starting with background information might not be a good idea, but we tried to really illustrate why here.
If you’re still waiting on your critique, you’ve been awesomely patient and we appreciate it! We’re either finished or are currently working on intros submitted before April 8 at 6:38 a.m. PST, so if you submitted after this time, feel free to revise and resubmit a more updated version. Just make sure you mark in your subject header that this is a revision!
(And if you have no idea what this word smash thingy is, read this.)

First 250 Words Smash!

Most Wonderful Author: Renee
Most Evil Critique Master: Ange
Working Title: N/A

I swung the brass-

Wait, you need to hear the beginning first. I can’t leave it out. I’m sorry.

I want you to know that I wasn’t always a bad person before I tell you what I did.

The beginning wasn’t at my birth. There were years worth of pieces that tied together to make the beginning.

My father. The way anger would distort his long face. The scar across his bottom lip, shaped like a half moon. The way he’d take me outside in the mornings he was home and watch birds with me. The weeks that went by without anyone hearing a word from him. He would come back with bruises and cuts on his face.


If you’ve been considering starting your story with exposition or backstory, take a look at the rest of this intro and our critique. I’ve seen on-point advice on how starting with background information might not be a good idea, but we tried to really illustrate why here.

If you’re still waiting on your critique, you’ve been awesomely patient and we appreciate it! We’re either finished or are currently working on intros submitted before April 8 at 6:38 a.m. PST, so if you submitted after this time, feel free to revise and resubmit a more updated version. Just make sure you mark in your subject header that this is a revision!

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

Hello, friends. Sorry about the recent lack in activity! This particular Word Smash took more collaboration — and therefore more time — than usual, but totally worth it in the end. The feedback really illustrates a point about starting stories with exposition, specifically backstory, and I’ll post it officially momentarily!
But the major reason for the silence here is because, two months ago, an opportunity opened up for us to pick up and move — across the frickin’ country. Since this is an opportunity that we weren’t sure we’d ever get again, we totally jumped right on it and started getting our lives set to go.
So, we’ve been hustlin’ and sweatin’ to make everything ready for blastoff by this upcoming Monday. Everything’s on track so far except we’re still waiting for our credit card to arrive because funny money is part of adulthood and we’re so freaken exciteddddd. We’re packing everything we own into our tiny, itty bitty car and heading out for a four-day high fantasy-style journey east.
Well okay, not very “high fantasy”. Maybe just “fantasy”.
Anyway, this is the biggest leap we’ve made in a good six years, and we just want to say we appreciate all the KSWers hanging in there and waiting! You all rock.
Also, this is just a reminder that the ask box has technically been closed to new questions since March. Please understand that it’s tough for us to make the time to reply to those who don’t take the time to read the Ask Guidelines. If we do decide to open up to questions again in the future, you can resubmit to us then. But for now, we’re definitely strained for time.
Okay, friends! Look for Word Smash #55 momentarily!

Hello, friends. Sorry about the recent lack in activity! This particular Word Smash took more collaboration — and therefore more time — than usual, but totally worth it in the end. The feedback really illustrates a point about starting stories with exposition, specifically backstory, and I’ll post it officially momentarily!

But the major reason for the silence here is because, two months ago, an opportunity opened up for us to pick up and move — across the frickin’ country. Since this is an opportunity that we weren’t sure we’d ever get again, we totally jumped right on it and started getting our lives set to go.

So, we’ve been hustlin’ and sweatin’ to make everything ready for blastoff by this upcoming Monday. Everything’s on track so far except we’re still waiting for our credit card to arrive because funny money is part of adulthood and we’re so freaken exciteddddd. We’re packing everything we own into our tiny, itty bitty car and heading out for a four-day high fantasy-style journey east.

Well okay, not very “high fantasy”. Maybe just “fantasy”.

Anyway, this is the biggest leap we’ve made in a good six years, and we just want to say we appreciate all the KSWers hanging in there and waiting! You all rock.

Also, this is just a reminder that the ask box has technically been closed to new questions since March. Please understand that it’s tough for us to make the time to reply to those who don’t take the time to read the Ask Guidelines. If we do decide to open up to questions again in the future, you can resubmit to us then. But for now, we’re definitely strained for time.

Okay, friends! Look for Word Smash #55 momentarily!

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.)