Critique Blog Hop #3 – 250 words from my YA Urban Fantasy


Oh Yeah!  It’s the  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 second 250 words of my new YA Urban Fantasy: “The First Day of the New Tomorrow”.  In the First 250 words, Maya is in the bathroom getting ready for school.  She put on her glasses, and her vision got blurry.

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“What the…” She grabbed the counter and pulled the metal frames from her face.  The room slipped into perfect crisp focus again.  Three slow breaths calmed her only slightly.

A ray of sunshine poked through the white lace curtain, landing on a towel beside the bathtub.  A spider web clung to the ceiling, holding more dust than forgotten prey.  Three nails popped through the wall near the door—all normal things, except she could see them clearly—just as clearly as she could see her glasses perched on the counter before her.

“Okayyy…”  She lifted the spectacles to her eyes, crinkling her nose as the world blurred before her. She stared at the lenses.  “Teenager’s eyesight clears up overnight.  News at eleven.”  She smiled and slipped the glasses into her pocket.  “I’m certainly not complaining.”

She trudged down the stairs and found her mother’s obligatory, “Don’t forget to eat breakfast” note fastened to the refrigerator door—as if she’d even look at the fridge if she weren’t already in breakfast mode.

Rifling past the food savers and soda cans, she sighed.  Would a few eggs be too much to ask for? She grabbed the milk and closed the door.  Cereal would have to do.  Spinning, she pursed her lips, seeing the nearly empty Cheerios container on the counter.  Great.  Eat breakfast, but I’m not leaving anything for you to eat.

She reopened the refrigerator and startled.  Three eggs lay beside last night’s spaghetti sauce, neatly balancing on the wired shelving.  How the heck could she have missed them before?

“Okay, eggs it is.”

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8 responses to “Critique Blog Hop #3 – 250 words from my YA Urban Fantasy

  1. She slammed into the door jamb previously, I believe. Afterwards the magic started. I wonder if she’s in another dimension? Good reading. I want to know EVERYthing.

  2. I expected nothing less than another great excerpt. The only thing I have to add to the comments above is the abundance of “she.” I know we don’t know her name yet, but maybe there’s a way to rewrite some of the sentences so they don’t begin with “she.”

    I loved that the eggs just appeared. 🙂

  3. I’ll actually “comment” tomorrow, er, later today. But I wanted to say that I like the poof! Magic changes elements. They made me smile. What’s next?

  4. Aha, the plot thickens! Her wishes are coming true. Definitely keeps my interest. You have a lot of great detail here, especially the implied interaction of the note to eat breakfast vs. reality that there isn’t much to eat. Good work.

  5. Great hook with the mysterious perfect eyesight. I ‘stopped’ over the description of things in the bathroom – could you explain she is shocked to see these things? The breakfast exposition brought me out of the story somewhat though – could you describe her mood more?

  6. “She grabbed the counter and pulled the metal frames from her face.”
    First, I pictured her grabbing the counter with both hands. Does she let go, or is she only using one hand on the counter, the other for her glasses?
    I love the detailed description of the bathroom. It feels realistically imperfect.
    “She lifted the spectacles to her eyes, crinkling her nose as the world blurred before her. She stared at the lenses.”
    This is a tiny detail, but as one of the blurry-visioned, I can’t quite picture what she’s doing. Is she holding the glasses in front of her eyes, but far enough in front that the earpieces aren’t poking her in the face? Or did she fold them shut, and is looking through the criss-crossed earpieces?
    I love the contrast between the consideration of the note and the thoughtlessness of the empty cereal container. Are the Cheerios in another food saver, or a box? If in a cardboard box, how can she see that it’s near-empty?
    The mysteriously appearing eggs make me really curious to know what’s going on. I was picturing some kind of superhero-like transformation, but now I have no idea. Love it when you keep me guessing. 🙂
    I can’t wait to see the moment when Maya stops accepting the weirdness and realizes something’s happening to her.

  7. Hi Jennifer. 🙂 Is this a novel or a short story? I don’t think you’ve said before and the only reason I ask is that if it were a short story, you could save yourself some words in your second line. With regards to Maya’s eyesight, I think you can get away with ‘perfect’ or ‘crisp.’ You don’t need both to get the point across, especially when you tell us in the next paragraph how well she can see now.

    ‘She stares at the lenses’ caught me out too. Unless at this point Maya has taken the glasses off, surely she would stare through the lenses?

    With the strangeness in suddenly having good eyesight, would Maya ‘trudge’ downstairs? It’s only a nit pick, to be sure, but if such strange things were happening to me, I’m sure the confusion would be reflected in my step; I might skip down the stairs (if I were pleased about it) or linger over coming down the stairs (if I were distracted by thinking of it).

    I like the promise of this 250 words. There is very clearly something going on related to Maya’s unconscious thought and I love that as an idea. What I love more is that you’ve let us know that, without Maya realising it; I like having one up on a character. It also means I care about when she finds out. very smartly done.

  8. I wonder what happened for her to have good eyesight again.. interesting start! The “except she could see them clearly—just as clearly ” double clearly threw me abit and the whole breakfast thing confused me- the “as if she’d even look at the fridge if she weren’t already in breakfast mode.” bit -but nice read all the same 🙂 x