News Feed Forums The Writing Room & Critique Club Writing Room 09.08

  • Emily Mitchell

    Administrator
    9 August 2023 at 17:01

    So, how did we all get on today?

  • jonny-milne Milne

    Administrator
    9 August 2023 at 17:02

    Afternoon! Here’s a link to our event on how First 500 (formally Friday Night Live) have changed entrants trajectories! Hope you can all make it. https://jerichowriters.com/free-event-beyond-the-first-500-competition/

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 4 weeks ago by
       jonny-milne.
  • Emily

    Member
    9 August 2023 at 17:13

    Argh, first 500 of a novel, the first draft of which I finish 8 years ago! I must have gone over this prologue a 1000 times… However, I recently got some feedback on my first paragraph from a beta reader and would love your thoughts, please, on which version you prefer, including cutting one of my favourite sentences. Ouch! And, of course, any other feedback you have is heartily welcomed.

    First paragraph edited today but with favourite sentence:

    The relentless sun pounded Sheba’s back. White rays bounced off the limestone city walls and transformed the swirling street dust into shimmering crystals. She stood transfixed. Before her, feral saluki dogs lapped greedily from the puddle of thick, glistening blood that saturated their sandy paws. Ecstatic flies swaggered about this crimson marker of the final journey of Judah’s first sovereign queen and the only mother Sheba had ever really known. She forced down rising bile, alternately blaming and consoling herself for Ima Tal’s death.

    Same without favourite sentence:

    The relentless sun pounded Sheba’s back. Before her, feral saluki dogs lapped greedily from the puddle of thick, glistening blood that saturated their sandy paws. Ecstatic flies swaggered about this crimson marker of the final journey of Judah’s first sovereign queen and the only mother Sheba had ever really known. She forced down rising bile, alternately blaming and consoling herself for Ima Tal’s death.

    • Emily Mitchell

      Administrator
      9 August 2023 at 17:26

      Firstly, hi to a fellow Emily (the best name, clearly).

      As much as I love your favourite sentence, I think the pacing is better in the second version. Personally, it brings you straight into the horror of the situation, impacted further by the emotive connection. They do say kill your darlings, right?

      Also, I like how immersive your writing is!

      • Emily

        Member
        9 August 2023 at 17:46

        Thanks, other Emily! 🙂 Yeah, it kills ME to admit it, but I really don’t have a home for it here.

  • Emily

    Member
    9 August 2023 at 17:15

    Please ignore the formatting of the first version. I think that’s something glitchy. Thanks!

    • Emily Mitchell

      Administrator
      9 August 2023 at 17:16

      No worries, let me see if I can manually edit it to fix it!

      • Emily

        Member
        9 August 2023 at 17:25

        Thanks!😍

  • John Taylor

    Member
    9 August 2023 at 17:31

    A great session here. Strange how writing a deathbed scene brings out both the ethereal and the mundane (silence interrupted by a phone beep).

    Still pondering whether to enter the first 500. Being the third book of a series, and opening with a non-standard (learning disabled) voice, which at the same time will be familiar to readers of the previous book, I’m not sure what kind of impact it will have.

    • Emily

      Member
      9 August 2023 at 17:47

      Do you need it? How are your other two books doing?

      • John Taylor

        Member
        9 August 2023 at 17:52

        That’s the point. I will probably publish the first one next month, and as I’m now committed to the self-publishing route, it would only ever be to see how my new writing stacks up. I’m a previous finalist at Friday night live (2019) and although nothing came of that, it seems better to step back on this one.

        • Emily

          Member
          9 August 2023 at 23:24

          Wow! That’s impressive that you won. This is my first competition, believe it or not. Maybe because of so many agent rejections, I don’t have a lot of confidence in my writing!

          Maybe drinking more dwr Cymru will help me? Saw you’re somewhere in the valleys. My husband and I are in Swansea 🙂

          • Emily Mitchell

            Administrator
            10 August 2023 at 12:46

            Well done Emily for having the courage to submit and best of luck!

          • John Taylor

            Member
            10 August 2023 at 18:29

            I didn’t win, Emily. I was one of eight finalists. But it was fun to read my work out at York Festival, in front of lots of people I knew. We live in Gilwern, between Brynmawr and Abergavenny.

    • Emily Mitchell

      Administrator
      10 August 2023 at 12:46

      Glad to hear it John and there is something so poignant about the mundane coming into a moment like that.

      I think if you are at all considering it, you should absolutely go for it! It at the very least starts the process of getting your work out to readers?

      • Emily

        Member
        12 August 2023 at 14:50

        Thanks, fellow Emily & John! I’ve submitted… very emotional because it’s the first time I’ve submitted to any competition. I so appreciate the encouragement Jericho Writers gives!