Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop: The Second 250 Words of my New Novel, OPTIMAL RED

Sunday_SnippetsOh 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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Here we have the second 250 words of my new novel Optimal Red, which is the sequel to LAST WINTER RED from the Make Believe Anthology.

Like the first set, this has not been proofed.  I have not gone back to it since I first wrote it, so slash away!  What’s missing?  What do I need to expand upon?  Are you connecting with the characters?

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Henry took a deep breath and took in the room around him.  How long would it be before he would see this room again, before he’d see his mother and siblings again?  Weeks? Months?

A stiff jerk tested his posture as his mother gave a final tug on his shirt and plastered it against his waist.  “There.  Your wife will be pleased.”

He brushed his lips against her forehead.  “I will make you proud, mother.”

She nodded, walking him to the door.  “Be sure that you do.”

The stark gray hallways echoed with his solitary footsteps.  Any other day he would have walked toward the right, to the common rooms and study areas.  Only once before had he walked to the left, taking the long gray hallway toward the unknown. It had been to see off his father when he’d been asked to work in the agricultural center—the last day they’d seen before news of the terrible accident.

As Henry approached the lifts, a woman with sandy blonde hair stood from her desk and greeted him with a brilliant smile.  “Good morning, Sir.” She held out a smoky glass pad.  “Identification, please.”

Henry reluctantly placed his hand on the pad.  Before today, he’d been considered a minor, and one of his parents gave their identification.  He’d never placed his own palm on one of the devices.  A tone sounded, and he drew his hand back.

“Happy birthday, Sir,” The woman said. “One moment please, and I will fetch a car to Sigma Central.”

“Do you know what I should do when I get there?”

“There will be another guide to meet you when you step out.  No worries, Sir.”

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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!

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10 responses to “Sunday Snippets Critique Blog Hop: The Second 250 Words of my New Novel, OPTIMAL RED

  1. I loved the snip, very interesting. I haven’t read the first book, but I think I’m getting a picture of the world from this. Not earth, somewhere where marriage and children are very important. Good start.

    Rinelle Grey

  2. Don’t think you need tugged & plasters his shirt – one will do. Not sure why but I imagined a period setting not a modern one…could be my writing style though. Elevator jogged me a bit.
    Would like to read more.

  3. This excerpt sounds intriguing and I’m wondering now what’s going to happen to poor Henry 😯

  4. I love his mother’s last minute fussing! But I have a hard time picturing what exactly is happening here: “final tug on his shirt and plastered it against his waist.”
    I pictured her tugging it straight, but plastered makes me think of clothes clinging due to sweat or something.
    Two different he’s in this sentence: “It had been to see off his father when he’d been asked to work in the agricultural center”
    Wow, the fact that his dad died right after the only time Henry went that way is ominous. That detail makes me worried something bad could happen to Henry, too.
    The guard using “No worries” felt a bit informal compared to the rest of her speech.
    I’m getting a better sense of this world–industrial hallways, elevators, fingerprint scanners, and cars–it contrasts nicely to the archaic marriage customs they’re following, and makes me wonder what happened to make the world this way.

  5. Everything is sure planned out for poor Henry. I’m wondering if he has any free will, or all decisions have already been made for him. It’s a convincing, high-tech utopia. I’m interested to read more!

  6. I kept reading wonder what was going to happen next. To me that is very important early on in a story.

    Nice work.

  7. A missing “him” in “the last day they’d seen … before news.” I feel like we’re “in the story” from the beginning, and so far there’s enough information to orient the reader to the characters and setting.

  8. I’m completely sucked into the story. Can’t imagine what awaits Henry and in what form.
    I noticed in the first paragraph ‘room’ and ‘took’ mirrored.


  9. I really like this. Can’t wait to read the entire piece