Every time someone doesn't read the first part of this post, Rick Santorum eats a kitten and your post may be frowned upon.Idea stolen from Critique Circle. The writer will post no more than the first 500-1000 words of their work (unless you desperately need to finish a sentence, I guess). If it's a script, the first four pages should suffice, since 1000 words is about four pages in most books. The reader is pretending to be an editor going through the slush pile, and will stop reading the excerpt if they lose interest. The reader will post to say if they stopped reading, why/ why not, and offer suggestions. The critique doesn't have to be detailed, but please at least offer some advice.
Every time someone doesn't follow the second part, Rick Santorum eats five kittens and your post has a 90% chance of being ignored.FRIENDLY REMINDER: As the title of the thread implies, if someone posted an excerpt before you, please critique it before posting your own. If you skip someone, you lose the right to whine if someone skips over you. People that have been skipped, feel free to post a polite reminder if you're getting concerned. Reading 1000 words and leaving a few comments shouldn't take too long. And look at it this way: if you critique it yourself, you don't risk waiting forever for someone else to do it for you (this thread takes occasional naps) and you don't have to hope the critiquer doesn't have an excerpt of their own to post right after. A SHORT NOTE: By hook we mean the first thing the reader sees of the story, not necessarily some sort of inciting incident. Your beginning can be slow and steady, but it still counts as the hook because readers can still be interested by something that moves slowly as long as something is there that gives the reader a reason to keep going. So if you have a prologue that meets or surpasses the word limit, don't stick your first chapter underneath it. DISCLAIMER: This isn't a hardcore critique thread, so don't try to milk a detailed critique for your first chapter. That's why we have the word limits. Just think of this as a preliminary screening process for serious problems so you can get started on making your first impressions sparkly and awesome.
edited 20th Aug '12 7:46:48 PM by SnowyFoxes
Boy, did I need a drink. I found myself a quiet spot not too far from the temple, and took a gulp from the jug of wine which I’d bought while aimlessly wandering about. It tasted good. I took another gulp, and another, very quickly, as if I wanted to drain the thing as fast as I could. Anyone who saw me must have taken me for a maniac – and they might have been right, too. God, what a night it had been! Some fella came walking across the square – straight at me, apparently. I’d be damned: it was John. How on Earth had he found me? Then again, eleven guys walking around like zombies in a town like this would have to work pretty damn hard not to run into each other at some point. ‘Why, hello there, Johnnyboy’, I mumbled. He sat down beside me without a word. For some time, neither of us said anything. ‘Judas is dead’, he suddenly said. It didn’t come as all that much of a surprise to me. ‘You killed ‘em?’ I asked in a deadpan voice. ‘No. Wouldn’t have thought of it – hell, any of us might’ve done the same. No sir, Judas hanged himself.’ ‘So he did, then.’ John was right: any of us might have betrayed the man. He hadn’t made that little prophecy to us for nothing; he understood people all too well. Which had been one of the reasons for us to follow him around. Anyway, apparently old Judas hadn’t been able to live with what he’d done. ‘Makes me kinda sad, y’know. He was always one of the brightest of the band.’ ‘Yup. Could probably have talked the boss out of the trouble he’s in now, if he hadn’t been the chosen one to rat ‘em out.’ I smiled faintly. ‘What happened to the money, anyway?’ ‘Heard he threw it back at the High Priests. I bet they’re gonna buy themselves some snappy new robes.’ ‘’Scuse me,’ said a young lady who’d walked up to us in the meantime, ‘weren’t you involved with this Jesus? I think I’ve seen you with him sometime...’ ‘I’m sorry, miss,’ I replied without missing a beat, ‘you’re confusing me with someone else. I hardly even knew about ‘em before he came into town a couple days ago.’ ‘Same here’, John added. ‘I’m sorry, I must be confused, indeed. Well, I only saw this Jesus and his crew from far off, so it’s not really all that strange.’ She walked off to mind her own business. Mission accomplished. I grinned at John. ‘Heh. Best to keep a low profile now, eh? Here, have some wine.’ I handed him the jug. ‘Thanks. And yeah, you’re damn right. Town riled up like this, anything can happen. I’m in no mood to face a lynch mob.’ ‘So the town is riled up, then?’ ‘You bet. Tell ya one thing, Pete, we badly underestimated these High Priests when we came here. They fight dirty, you know. They’ve got all Jerusalem hollering for the blood of our little friend.’ ‘And the Romans?’ ‘Couldn’t care less. All they know is, he’s trouble. And for them, that’s enough to nail a man up. They don’t like trouble, y’know.’ ‘Smart bastards, as always.’ ‘Yeah. Well, to be fair, the governor did try and sneak ‘em out. He had plenty of excuses, too, what with it being Passover and all. But the crowd, they wanted him dead. Badly. They got the governor to release some little critter of a murderer, called Barabbas.’ ‘So, I guess things are looking pretty bad for our little magician.’ ‘To say the least, yeah. The shit’s really hit the fan for him. He’s been beaten, spat on, flogged... and as we speak, they’re marching him up to this hill - what was it called again? Golgo... Golga... Gelgo... Anyway, no place he’s gonna get out of alive.’ I sighed. ‘Too bad. Guess there’s no hope of getting him out now, eh?’ ‘Not unless you’re some kind of Samson who can take on all of Jerusalem and the Roman garrison.’ Well, I knew that, of course. It’d been a dumb thing to ask. We were both silent for a while, until another Little Miss Detective appeared to ask us if we’d been friends with this Jesus guy. ‘Huh?’, I said, acting all surprised. ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about. You must’ve gotten us wrong.’ That was enough to get her to stop bothering us, it seemed. ‘So, I guess this is it, then,’ I said. ‘Yeah, with Judas and Jesus gone, we don’t really have much to show anymore, eh? So what are you gonna do, then? Back to fishing?’ John started laughing like mad. ‘Yeah, I guess. I’m afraid I won’t have any of those net-filling miracles anymore, though.’ I was laughing like mad, too. John slapped me on the back. ‘Well, Pete, old boy,’ he said, ‘I’ll be off. See ya!’ He rose and started walking, just like a leper after Jesus had done one of his magic tricks. ‘No doubt. If you run into this Barabbas fella,’ I called after him, ‘bring him my congratulations!’ ‘Will do,’ he laughed. I watched him for a while, until I was tapped on the shoulder by yet another little lady. ‘Weren’t you friends with this Jesus? I bet you’re feeling pretty bad now,’ she said. ‘Nope,’ I sighed, knowing I wasn’t being all that convincing. ‘In fact, I’ve never heard of him.’ The jug of wine was empty. I stood up and walked away, leaving her confused. It was getting dark already, a little too early, it seemed. I heard a rooster crow somewhere far away; why the hell was the stupid bird making noise at this time of day? Then suddenly, I grinned. One more of the old bugger’s prophecies come true.
edited 21st Jan '12 4:25:43 PM by MidnightRambler
edited 21st Jan '12 8:21:06 PM by Nocturna
edited 22nd Jan '12 5:12:31 AM by MidnightRambler
“Early start Neville, remember!” she called. The Griffin alarm clock, after roaring once again, stretched its wings and leapt from the bedside cabinet onto Neville’s bed. It climbed onto his pillow, held down around his head tightly by both of his hands, and crept slowly towards his fingers… Neville yelped and bounded out of bed as his alarm clock clamped down hard on the pinkie finger of his right hand. He caressed it gently as the enchanted model Griffin its place upon the bedside cabinet, with a content look upon its face, having done its job. Neville rubbed his sleepy eyes and blinked into the bright sunlight shining on him through his window. Yawning, he pulled himself off of his bed and reached for the bedroom door handle. He stretched his long arms as he walked down the hallway towards the bathroom, accidentally knocking a framed picture from the wall as he did so. “What fell?” his grandmother called from downstairs.
“Nothing,” Neville called back as he hung the frame back on the wall while an irritated-looking wizard in the picture shook his fist at him. “Sorry,” Neville mumbled. Ten minutes later, with his teeth brushed and hair combed, Neville stepped up to the tall wardrobe in his bedroom. He pulled open the doors of the wardrobe, to which he had attached a scarlet and gold Gryffindor scarf and a moving photograph of a mighty lion (which was currently asleep), and began rummaging for clothes. He had removed his shirt before remembering to turn his photograph of his mother and father to face the wall as he always did. As he grasped it he saw that even they were both still asleep, his mother’s head resting upon his father’s shoulder. Nevertheless, after watching them for a long moment, he turned it to face the wall anyway. As he turned back to the wardrobe he caught a sight of himself in the bedroom mirror. He saw how his stomach, flabby and overweight, bulged over his trousers even though they were loose fitting pyjamas. For a moment he stood straight, head held high and gut sucked in; “still fat”, he thought to himself. He was getting a spot on his chin, too. Turning away from the sight of the mirror Neville reached for clothes as his grandmothers voice urged him to hurry up from downstairs. Neville arrived downstairs in his jeans and sweater as the clock in the kitchen struck eight twenty-five. His grandmother, a tall, thin and bony women with a stern, strict look on her face that Neville had rarely seen differ, immediately marched out of the kitchen, comb in hand. “Did you comb your hair?” she said. “You haven’t combed you hair right.”
“Gran, I did-” Neville began to say as he squirmed beneath the rough tugs of his grandmother’s comb.
“There, that’s better,” his grandmother said. “Much more mature looking.” Neville followed his grandmother down the hall towards the kitchen. The walls of the Longbottom home were covered in black and white photographs of squat, round-faced members of the Longbottom clan that had long since passed away. Uncle Algie and Aunt Enid were still snoozing in their frames, each slumped in a cosy-looking high chair. Further down the hallway hung a picture of Alfred Longbottom, slumped over his writing desk while holding a bottle of Manticore Mead; beside him hung Cousin Stanley, a man with a long beard who was nursing a black eye after another long nights drinking with Alfred. Before Neville had even stepped into the kitchen, the familiar smell of breakfast had met his nostrils. He could hear the sounds of enchanted pots and pans and plates scrubbing themselves clean in the kitchen sink while his grandmothers favourite singer, “Magical” Marvin Mim, sang old fashioned songs over the wireless. Feeling suddenly ravenous, Neville reached for a loaf of bread but his grandmother suddenly snatched it out of his hand. “No time for that,” she said. “No dawdling; the sooner we get there, the sooner we get back!”
It was then that Neville caught sight of the latest edition of the Daily Prophet, a newspaper whose front page was covered in large, imposing headlines and a black and white photograph of rather dishevelled-looking men and women that Neville did not recognise. The headline, written in an eye-catching black font, read: “UNDESIERABLES ARRESTED!” Neville grabbed the newspaper with his right hand and dragged it across the table, so that he could read it. Beneath the headline was a black and white photograph of Auror’s from the Ministry of Magic wrestling with people whose faces Neville could not see. “Auror’s arrest suspected dark wizards, wand thieves” the caption beneath the photograph said. “Now don’t you worry,” his grandmother said, from across the table while reaching to snatch the newspaper away. “I’ve already read that, none of your school friends were mentioned.” Neville breathed a sigh of relief as his grandmother slid the newspaper away from him and threw it in the bin. Everyday since last week Neville had been going through the same routine. First the latest edition of the Daily Prophet will be lying on the kitchen table. The headlines will talk about some new arrests in the night. Neville will grab the newspaper, expecting to see a friend being arrested by an Auror, waiting for their name to be added to the list of captured “Undesirables”. But it hadn’t came yet. Dozens of strangers, unknowns, faces Neville had never been before, yes, but none of his friends. Not yet. There were so many familiar names, too many, on the list of people being hunted by the Ministry of Magic. Muggle-borns, friends of Muggle-borns. Harry Potter, friends of Harry Potter. His school friends. People in school he only knew by sight or by name. People he had met before in Diagon Ally. People who knew his grandmother. People who had known his parents. People who had been kind to him. “Mudbloods“. “Blood-traitors“.
edited 22nd Jan '12 8:06:44 AM by TheBatPencil
(As come it will for a' that)
edited 22nd Jan '12 8:04:54 AM by TheBatPencil
(As come it will for a' that)
- Clarence Darrow
edited 25th Jan '12 6:59:59 PM by BlackElephant
edited 8th Feb '12 4:18:48 AM by burnpsy
edited 18th Feb '12 11:25:06 AM by Evergreen215
edited 22nd Mar '12 2:10:01 AM by Belfagor
- Clarence Darrow
edited 5th Jul '12 9:37:01 PM by SnowyFoxes
edited 21st Mar '12 4:37:30 PM by MrAHR
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." -Terence
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." -Terence