Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop!

Sunday_SnippetsOh Yeah!  It’s the very first Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop!

In this hop, participants post 250 words of their work in progress to be critiqued.  Then everyone hops around to critique others.  Don’t have a post of your own?  We’d love a critique anyway!  And next time you can sign up yourself (see below)

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Okay… Here’s mine.  This is the first 250-ish words of The First Day of the New Tomorrow.  This is very fresh writing.  I’m only about five pages into the story.  This is a Young Adult Urban Fantasy.

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There just wasn’t enough cover-up in the world. Maya blended in the last dab, concealing the tenth new blemish this week, and it was only Thursday. In her next life, she’d be a Bavarian princess with perfect skin.  Yeah.  That’d be good.

She slipped on her bifocals and brushed a few of her dark bangs over the more hideous zits on her forehead and took stock.  The acne she could cover up, but the ugly glasses?

“I wish I didn’t have to wear these stupid things,” she told her reflection.  It smirked.  Even her reflection thought she looked like a geek.  Great.

Maya spun and headed for the door, but banged her head dead center on the doorframe.  The world blurred around her, and she grabbed the wall for support. “Owe.” Her hand shot to her forehead.  Everything still seemed to be attached.

Blinking, she tried to focus.  On all sides, a fuzzy halo bent and distorted the world into a crazy Picasso painting.  Nauseous, she closed her eyes and slid to the floor.

She couldn’t be sick.  She had to go to school today.  She’d studied her butt off last night and refused to miss that stinking History test.

Maya removed her glasses and rubbed her eyes. Blinking hard, she stared at the toilet bowl until it came into perfect focus. He stomach settled.  Better.  Whew! She slipped on her glasses and tried to stand, but the fuzzy haze came back.

“What the…” She grabbed the counter and pulled off her glasses.

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The Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop is on!

Want to join up? Click here for the rules, and leave a comment to have your name added to the list.  The more the merrier!swish swivel squiggle 2

Click on over to these great writers to check out and critique what they’ve posted!



15 responses to “Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop!

  1. Because the admin of this web page is working, no hesitation very rapidly it will be well-known, due to its feature

  2. Not this week, Jennifer. I will Sunday though. the past week has been brutal.

  3. This is teen perfect. How many teenagers have to adjust their BIFOCALS. Maybe that’s her problem and why she smashed into the doorframe. She SPUN and headed for the door. Bifocals guilty again? Anyway, this teen has lots on her plate.

    I have onlyl one question. ‘Nauseous, she closed her eyes and slid to the floor.’ How did she get from the door frame to the toilet?

  4. I didn’t get in on this with my own work just yet, but I want to next week, so I hope it’s okay if I get on the critique wagon this time around instead!

    After my first read through, my initial reactions were very similar to what others have commented. I have a great picture of the protagonist as our typical, acne-prone, makeup-addicted teenager getting ready for school. It immediately brought me back to my own experiences of getting ready in the morning and wanting to look perfect.
    I have to differ with the majority here, though. Challenged as I am with depth-perception, I can instantly see how she could have clocked her head on the door frame in the spin motion, especially if her glasses caused the frame to “jump” (you know, like when you close one eye and then open it and close the other eye?). For those who aren’t convinced, try to think of it as moving past the door (like the sink/mirror are near the door, instead of at the back of the bathroom). At least that’s how I interpreted.
    I LOVED the twist in these first couple hundred words. She wishes she didn’t have to wear the glasses and suddenly, she doesn’t. It’s a fantastic hook.
    The lines of inner dialogue are very true to today’s teens. As a high school teacher, I can attest that “this generation” of teens and preteens definitely speak that way. However, I think it may be beneficial to italicize or set off those particular sentences in some way.

    Sweet first 250(ish!). I look forward to reading more!

  5. It reads very smoothly and provides a good picture of Maya as a typical appearance-conscious teenager.

    I had trouble understanding why and how she walked into the door frame dead centre. She had her glasses on and could see clearly in the mirror. But do the glasses only seem to work correctly in the mirror and not otherwise? Maybe this caused her to walk into the door frame. (She took them off and the toilet came into focus…) Dead centre either suggests she’s taller than the door frame and would be used to this and automatically duck her head. Alternatively it was dead centre of her head hitting the side of the door frame. A door frame is pretty hard to miss even by people with poor eyesight. It just seemed odd to me. Then again it’s more dramatic that turning around and thinking “hey that door frame looks quite blurry! I better not walk into it.”
    Despite that, it’s still very intriguing. I feel there is something interesting about the way the glasses behave as they seem to have the opposite to desired affect on her eye sight. I want to keep reading to find out more about these glasses and how they affect Maya and the New Tomorrow. For me the glasses seem to be the key ingredient in this little mystery. If that’s the first page, I’d definitely turn to page 2.

  6. you have enough to worry about but… “He stomach settled…” (Her?)

  7. Wow, I really love the way you get inside her head–just a few words tell the reader how self-conscious, clumsy, and worried about school she is.
    I’m not sure about the door frame, though. Hitting it “dead center” feels unlikely, no matter how clumsy she is. Maybe if she caught her foot on something first–or if she hit the edge it’d feel more believable.
    I also loved the way this poor girl used a toilet to bring her eyes into focus–it hints that her life might be going down the drain soon.

  8. As the mom of a sometimes-pimply girl, I could see this very well. I was intrigued by the reflection in the mirror perhaps not showing exactly that Maya was doing, and the marked reaction to such a small bump on the head.

    One minor typo, when she bumps her head, she says “owe” rather than “ow.” My one suggestions would be to bring in more senses than sight, so perhaps the texture of a face towel or the scent of the makeup.

    Nice work, all in all. If I picked this up off a library shelf, I would want to keep reading.

  9. Good characterisation – I can see Maya and wondered why such a slight bump on the head would cause such a dramatic reaction. One typo : He stomach settled. ‘Her stomach… settled
    Good luck with the continuing story.

  10. I want to first mention that I’m remiss in saying anything because you’re published and I’m not, haha. And you’re close enough to drive over and kick my butt. But here goes…

    Very good job and telling the reader about the character without having it read like a Wanted poster. Like another commenter, I definitely got the geeky, young girl picture in my head. I like that you tell the reader what’s happening, without actually telling them. You’re very good at the Show, Don’t Tell mantra. I only had two gripes. One, I read in several places that it’s taboo and cliche to start a story with the main character looking into a mirror. I changed my own MS to get rid of that. Also, I’m confused as to why she would hit her head on the door frame. Does she not live there and know where the door frame is? If this is addressed later, then disregard, but it was the one thing that stuck out to me after I finished reading.

    Thanks for doing this and I’m looking forward to next Sunday!

  11. Hi, Jennifer, and good morning!

    I like the descriptive detail. Only a few paragraphs in, and I’ve envisioning a younger, female version of Leonard from the Big Bang Theory. This is good – it helps me connect with our heroine immediately.

    The internal staccato sentences actually break up my picture of her. I suggest holding off just a bit on getting into her thoughts and let the reader get a stronger picture of her by watching her actions first. The visual cues of the cover-up, bifocals, and running into the door show me her discomfort and awkwardness. They also mystery – until she starts talking.

    The Picasso picture reference doesn’t make sense – yet – with what’s been described. Now, if she had looked up into the mirror, which was surrounded by, say, her sketches of works by her favorite painters and other doodles, including a Bavarian fairy tale princess, it’d fit. In fact, it would add texture to her developing character. Rather than just deleting her inner monologue or some of the details, I recommend dolely them out more slowly. There’s good stuff to work with here – it’s fine by me as a reader to get seduced by the story and slowly handed details like h’ordeurves.

  12. Hi Jennifer, thanks again for opening this up to the blogosphere and giving me a chance to be part of it. And thanks for your critique. ^_^

    Looking at The First Day of the New Tomorrow I’m already intrigued. I have a clear and immediate sense of Maya without oodles of physical description. A gentle brush stroke of description, along with narrative that sits firmly in her head is plenty to start telling me what this girl is like.
    I think because the narrative is so strong I’m pulled back a tiny bit by the italicised thoughts. It seems a little inconsistent when lines like ‘Yeah. That’d be good.’ and ‘…refused to miss that stinking History test.’ don’t get the same treatment. They are clearly her thoughts and opinion even if they aren’t ‘spoken thoughts,’ does that make sense?
    Also I love the idea of the knock on the head distorting things as much as a Picasso piece; great imagery there and also an insight into her cultural background.
    All in all, for what you call fresh writing, I’m impressed and rather intimidated! Looking forward to next week and reading a little more. 🙂

  13. Oh, boy. Mine is up.
    Be gentle with me, please.
    Honest, but gentle.
    Oh, and I blew the word count. Sorry!