Featured Post

Enter my Get Followers Giveaway and win a copy of DOUBLE PLAY

I'm so close to 1000 followers on Twitter! Follow, enter here, and tweet about it to win a copy after I get 1000 followers! a Raffle...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Three Hundred Thursday #5

Yes, it's another Three-Hundred Thursday! Today's is from a MS titled EVE OF THE SIREN. 

Jagged rocks twisted, towered over, (I'm a big fan of the serial comma, so I always insert it. It's a style choice, but whatever the style choice made, just use it consistently throughout the MS) and surrounded Ax, cocooning him a cold, shadowy prison. The water current swirled and taunted his body bringing with it pungent odors from Panthon prison. It was (Can a stronger, more descriptive word be used here to convey something about this prison? Consider something like stood, towered, rotted -- any one word that might give the reader a better idea of this prison) miles away, but Ax wasn’t surprised it didn't surprise Ax (To avoid passive writing) that he could smell it. That place reeked. Still, he was glad for the stench. He was counting counted (More often than not, past progressive use with "was" can be changed to simple past tense without making the sentence awkward or without changing the meaning. It brings the action closer to the reader and doesn't crowd up the sentence) on it to mask his own scent.

"Focus, breathe shallow, you’re nothing but algae in the rocks,.' He he (First, always use double quotation marks unless it's a quote within a quote. Second, even though they're his thoughts, they still must be punctuated the same as if a speech were attributed to him. For more on attribution punctuation, check out this post and this one) chanted in his mind to keep the waking nightmare (What waking nightmare? From prison? Something he's about to face?) from building inside his head.
Nightmare, a fitting nickname for the most feared soldier in history. (This is a little confusing. It didn't seem like a name above, or a person) He was also the Delphin soldier who was currently stalking him Ax (With two males now in the narration, it's best to keep it clear which "he" is being talked about). And if the stories are were (Wrong tense. Once started in past tense, stay in past tense) even half right, the nightmare The Nightmare (Names, even nicknames, should be capitalized) could smelled (Could is passive writing like gave, heard, saw, etc. It often just crowds the sentence and dilutes the action so it doesn't have as much punch) like a shark, (no comma) and was just as vicious towards his prey. 
"Focus, breathe shallow, you’re nothing but algae in the rocks." (Like above, use double quotes) Ax’s hands (No floating body parts. Having his hands grasp something makes it seem as though his hands are in control or move on their own) grasped the stone beside him so tightly ("tight" is modifying the verb "grasp," meaning an adverb needs to be used) they cut into his fingers. His tail (Whoa! I'm thrown. All along I've been picturing Ax as a human, but this changes things. Perhaps allude to his not-quite-human status earlier so it doesn't come as so much of a surprise) flitted nervously as he tried to ignore the sharp rock that was painfully gnawing gnawed in his back.

Yeah, right, this isn’t wasn't (Wrong tense -- unless this was meant to be a thought. In that case, it needs to be separated out somehow, like using the quotations above and clarifying that he's not speaking out loud. I most often seen thoughts formatted in italics, but quotations are fine too as long as it is clear he's not speaking out loud) pain. He’ll He'd (Wrong tense) really find out what pain is was, if the Nightmare finds found him. Now would be a good time to pray, but which god should he pray to? The only god-like being that cares cared about a Delphin is was mMother (Capitalize. It's part of her name) Calypso. And she’d likely strike him down with a god bolt if he tried praying to her. The only god that is was likely to care about him is was Hades. (But it says that Mother Calypso is the only god-like being, but this is a second one) The god of the underworld is was probably making big plans to whip and torture him Ax in Tartarus for eternity.

This starts out as a great, edge-of-your-seat scene, making me wonder and want to read about if the character escapes, what has he done, why is someone after him. The last paragraph begins to "tell" a little bit more than show. Keep the reader in the scene, as though they're watching a movie. I like to take problem paragraphs sentence by sentence and ask myself, "What is the character seeing/hearing/feeling right now?" and then I try to show it.

Thank you, Contestant #5!

Add your comments below, and as always, be courteous and respectful.

Are you interested? Use the Contact Me page to send your first three-hundred words or your query letter for critique. Be brave!


  1. Thanks for the great suggestions. :) I will go through and make changes right now. I really appreciate you taking the time to help this aspiring author.

    1. Thank your for being willing to put your work out there! Good luck!


About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...