What was the last few paragraphs you wrote?


From my 2nd WIP, The Two Foxes:

The pulse of lightning rushed through both their veins, but they did not flinch against one another’s lightning this time; the weight of Running Water’s life was on both their shoulders, bearing down with such force that made their shoulders tremble, even though their shoulders were more than willing to welcome Running Water’s memory.


I love Running Water’s name. This scene is really intense and the pacing and description is great.

From The Blood of Rooks and Ravens:

Jael healed himself in between Johnna Rant Sessions. She paused for breath and he ran his finger over a split on his cheekbone. The magic flowed through his hands sluggishly, healer magic didn’t come the same way nightshade magic did. Nightshade magic felt like a spark and blaze, an uncontrollable rush that flooded his body and crashed out of him. Healer magic was more like forcing clay through a tiny sieve.

“Heal, tight knit,” he said with his finger pressed to the cut. The interruption earned him a glare from Johnna.

“What were you thinking!” She growled. Her hair was coming loose from its braid, springing from her head like tufts of crazy. “You could have beat him, why did you let Rigg get the upper hand?”


Don’t you just love healing magic? I imagined her hair slowly drop from it’s braid. Very descriptive. I like it. Now no more letting people win.


I close my eyes and kept drinking and drinking. “What are you?” I could hear the girl ask but I was more focused on the blood that strengthens me.

I kept drinking until I couldn’t feel Jared’s wrist anymore. I open my eyes to his body vanishing into thin air. I felt invincible. I can’t hesitate. I can already feel my energy depleting. Don’t know how but can’t worry about that right now. I scan the map once more. I realize that the map was magical, because there were only two flags left on the map.

“How… W-what are you?” She stammers for the first time and it caught me off guard.

“I’ll tell you after this. Are you ready?” I ask. She nods.

I hold out my hand and she took it. I flip her onto my back, not wasting anymore time to ask her permission. She didn’t struggle. She accepted my embrace. With the great power I gained thanks to Jared. I jump on top of a near by tree and knelt, charging my strength. I kick off the tree, shattering it in process. I send us soaring through the skies. Zora, I’m almost there.


I’ve been working more on this scene, because it seemed too abrupt to me before. How does it sound now?

“I don’t need saving…goodbye, Allison,” Rose hissed, and disconnected the call. She stuffed her phone into the pocket of her jeans, grabbed her keys, and ran out of the apartment, wanting nothing more than to escape from the outside forces wreaking havoc on her life. Kocoum, Allie, the madness at work…she needed a break from it all. When she emerged from the building, a flash of lightning illuminated the sky; raindrops pounded the sidewalk.

Rose cursed herself for not using the underground parking garage, her hair and clothes soaked by the downpour. She jumped into her car and sped off. Tears brimmed in her eyes, and she wiped them away to focus on the road, driving toward the one person she knew would understand.


I think it’s good, though that’s just me… Here’s mine


That was what they all were. No matter the age, no matter the race. They all were fallen.

How did it start? Where did it end? Was there a end?

But the real question was… could they get back up? Could they rise again? Can they mend the mistakes they made? Especially the ones that hurt? The ones that scared?

Questions swarmed his mind, more and more piling on top of each other. Never ending. No beginning.

He needed to be strong. He needed to stand tall. Needed to show no weakness. For them. For his family. Put on a mask and never take it off. Not for the masses, not for the world. No one can see how broken he is. No one can see how much he is hurting, how much he just wanted to… sleep.

So he would play. He would play the cold lord, the cruel king. The loving brother, the caring family. Whatever they needed from him, he would do. Even if it cost his life.

He had made this. This life for them. And now he needed to keep it.

Everything he did for them, he needed to keep. He needed to make his empire stronger. Powerfuller. Make it the envy of everyone, but his family.

He donned his mask once again. He would never take it off. And every thought–every burning question–was silenced.


I like it! I’m wondering though, if “powerfuller” is the right word you’re looking for? Is it a real word, or is the correct term “More powerful”?


It is a real word and I think you can use both more powerful and powerfuller. Though now that I think about it I think I’ll change it to “more powerful”. Also thanks for the insight!


You’re welcome!




Komazzi’s phone buzzed from the table beside him. A picture of Rose’s face blinked on the screen and his heart fluttered in his chest. “Hey there?”

“Komazzi, I need to see you,” Rose sobbed. Komazzi heard the roar of an engine, and was instantly concerned that Rose was out by herself this time of night. Cat must not be home, or else Rose would have talked to her about what was upsetting her. He listened to Rose’s sobs and waited patiently while she struggled to speak. “Can I please come over?”

“Of course,” Komazzi replied. He ground the butt of his cigarette out into the ashtray on his desk. Rain lashed against the office window, and another crack of thunder shook the house. “The roads are a mess, please drive careful.”

“I will,” Rose whispered, and hung up.


I like it. The pacing is good, the dialogue flows naturally. It definitely makes me curious about what the characters’ next interaction will be like.

Here’s mine.

It tore her in half: this tension between what she was supposed to feel and what she did feel, between what she was supposed to do and what she could do. If he had asked her to die, perhaps she could have done it. Death was no small thing, but it was inevitable and far easier to accept. But he didn’t ask for her death. He asked for her life, he asked for her soul, and it was simply too much for her to give.

Even now that she was distanced from him with Sasha by her side, she was still far from peace. She worried not just for the Underwood, but for Alouette and Ceorl, for Burchard. The King was not a stupid man; he would know that they couldn’t have escaped on their own. What would he do if he found out who helped them? What sort of hideous tortures would he visit upon them? Sylvia didn’t even want to imagine it…

But she couldn’t help but imagine it as Sasha wrestled a rabbit from one of the snares she was checking and picked it up by its hind legs.

“You’ll want to kill it as humanely as possible,” she said, “Like this.”

She took hold of its head and forced it back until there was an audible snap.

“Then you will need to skin and gut it.”

Sylvia watched her pull the hide away, revealing the slick, pink muscles beneath, then she slid her knife beneath the soft flesh of its belly and slit it open. She felt her head growing lighter as she watched Sasha snap off the joints and pull the entrails free. Without its skin, she could see how similar all the world’s creatures were underneath—from rabbits to deer to men—nothing but pink and tender meat wrapped around the bone.


I absolutely enjoyed your details. I love how you described it so immersive-like and vague, allowing the reader to imagine the scene. But it didn’t seem like you lacked information nor did it feel like you went over-board. It was enough imagery to let us see into your story. :wink:

I only have two, minor suggestions:

^ My first piece of advice is to replace the comma (next to “said”) with a period. And secondly, you can place this entire section into a single paragraph:

“You’ll want to kill it as humanely as possible,” she said. “Like this.” She took hold of its head and forced it back until there was an audible snap. “Then you will need to skin and gut it.”

Mine… In the Dark:

“Is that—” I said, in-between breaths from the blows, “all you—” Instead of a punch, he slapped my cheek. “. . . got?” My eyes widened as my cheeks burned from the collision of his palm. I wasn’t trying to edge it on and rattle up his unchained emotions; I was trying to tire him out. Perhaps if he became exhausted, I could get a few blows in?
“Would you two idiots stop fighting like a bunch of pansies?” It was Freyja, coming closer.
Nick threw me to the floor, where I lay from pain coursing through one side of my abdomen and unable to sit up, kicking me all over. I wouldn’t count them as harsh kicks, but they were most likely enough to leave bruises.
“Stop it!” she said, close enough to touch Nick. “You’re hurting him!”
Isn’t that the point?
His eyes were full of anger as his nose scrunched up and his mouth curved in a harsh frown. His teeth were showing, spit flying from his mouth. When he turned around, he grabbed something from his back pocket—a knife—and got closer to her. Freyja, who saw it before he fully pointed it at her, tried to run, but Nick easily caught her in his grasp.
Freyja screamed and squirmed in his arms, fighting to get away. And when it was easy to see that she wouldn’t stop, he dug the knife into her side.


Great actions and description of the narrators current condition. I like how you expressed the first line of dialogue, makes him sound winded and wheezing for sure. You can easily tell that he’s pretty beat up and worn out. I thought when you introduced her Freyja was in charge, the way she stepped in and called them idiots, etc, but then at the end…I’m really confused on her character.

Nym watched the rock ricochet down the alley before skittering to a stop. Nym stopped as well, though, peering into the shadows. “Hey, Kirsi, do you see that down there?” she asked, stepping off the sidewalk and into the small alleyway.

“What? I don’t see anything besides trash,” Kirsi commented but followed her friend.

Nym walked a few more steps and stopped beside the rock, kneeling down beside something that looked sleek and humanoid. She peered a little closer, trying to make out what it was.

“A-A-Assis-sistance-e r-requir-ired…”

Nym jerked back, toppling into Kirsi as the broken voice cut the air and the metal mound moved, a head appearing from the collapsed limbs. Both girls watched the head as it lifted weakly, revealing the broken faceplate of an android before collapsing back into the heap.

A low electronic moan followed, then the alleyway fell silent.


I think you could get away with deleting the two dialogue tags following the dialogue because the conversation is lively and conveys what’s going on. That will also allow you to replace Nim in the second sentence in a row with she. The rest feels cool and reads smoothly.

The half-awed, half-scandalized, ‘you stole from the Celestials’ tumbled from Xi’s lips, then the ‘we’ve killed the Emperor… no we’ve killed a child, Sayewa.”

She lifted one eye from her work, “Chong Xi, we are innocent, and these is but one copy of ten thousand copies.”

He kneeled by her side to help, and whenever his fingers bumped into hers, he believed every word she said. He needed to believe.

She smiled when he covered her hand with his, and did not take it away until they had to climb out of the cave through the narrow tunnel. Released into the daylight, Xi lifted his face to the warmth of the afternoon sun. The smell of the leaves freshly washed by the rain touched his nostrils. “Is it… is it spring already? How?”

“The more important question is how many winters had passed since we left,” Sayewa corrected him.

Two, as it turned out.


We sit and play video games for hours, until we hear a police siren. We look outside, this could be good gossip. A young boy with long blonde hair, wearing a bright green sweater is being handcuffed. I feel bad for him, he reminds me of Naomi, he always had a green sweater on, his hair was like his too, just a bit longer. I notice Ryan isn’t cracking a joke like usual.

“You know him?” I ask.

“Yeah, he came over here to mow the lawn, and shovel snow once in a while. He doesn’t seem like the kind to do anything wrong, really,” he says.

We go back to our game. He beats me 3 out of 5 times. When it starts to get dark I tell Ryan I have to go. I stop at the convenient store, I grab myself an energy drink and a chocolate bar for Harold. He doesn’t eat candy very often. He’s always trying to stay in shape, I don’t think he even likes the candy I get him that much. He always tells me how when he was young, like 12 or 13, he’d go to the convenient store just to talk to my mom, and he’d always get the same candy bar every time. I couldn’t imagine why they’d want to stay here, there’s crime everywhere.

I get home I hand my dad his candy bar. My mom seems ticked I didn’t get her something, oh well. I head to my room, the door is partially opened, I see a red light on.


Very mysterious! Xi seems in over his depth while Sayewa holds all the cards. I am already curious about their dynamic. Is it magic that caused the passage of time in that cave, or were they really down there for that long?

Her thumb traced the ridge of Vidar’s orbital bone, so pronounced without the structure of his eyeball to plump the thin skin around it, and let the ache in her chest whisper aloud, “Isn’t life so much simpler when your choices have been reduced?”

“Let him recover, Simone,” Aguiyi’s raspy baritone came tinny and flattened through the speaker in the wall separating them. Simone jerked as she turned, surprised to see the old man still at the observation window. “He needs rest to reconstruct his neural pathways.”

Her fingers curled into a fist behind her back as her lips curled into a smile. “Aren’t you supposed to be keeping Papa occupied?”

The old man returned her smile with an amusement she did not share. “Leif has been quite adequate at keeping himself occupied lately. Have you noticed any changes in his behavior of late?”

“Don’t be coy, Doc. If you’ve got something to say to me, I’d appreciate if you’d please swallow or spit,” she frowned.

He laughed, the wheezing huffs grating her nerves until at last he said, “No, I would rather not be the one to face his wrath for spoiling the surprise. Go on and return to your quarters, girl. I think you’ll find him waiting for you.”


The squeal of an electric guitar on full blast amplified through her silent bedroom, causing Ada’s body to break out in a spasm. Shooting to consciousness caused muscles to jolt in an unattended direction and she fall out of bed in a loud thud that even she couldn’t hear over the music. Her mind could barely comprehend where she was or what was happening and the blaring sound coming from somewhere in her bedroom made it impossible to create any sort of real thought process.

A crash of a symbol caused her body to twitch and the rug rubbed against her forehead in a fast burning movement. Ada readjusted herself to face upwards and she held her palm against her aching head. It took Ada’s eyes a few seconds to adjust to the sight of her mother standing above her, hopping up and down while head banging to the Alice Cooper song with a psychotic look on her face, holding her three fingers up in the air in the symbol of ‘rock’.

As Ada sat up further, she noticed her dad was there as well, doing a dance where one leg was lifted up and he was just sort of jerking his body forward while aggressively playing air guitar to ‘School’s Out’.

If her parents were anyone else, she’d just assume she was still dreaming or that the head damage she’d received from falling out of bed was more extensive than she thought. But these were her parents and sadly this did not surprise her one bit.

“Why are you doing this to me?” Ada asked as she tiredly pulled herself upwards. “Is it even time to wake up yet?”


This part is written from the perspective of someone who is watching her significant other suffer from PTSD.

Even in her shock, she knew better than to go to the neighbors and ask after them, and she knew better than to stay. They would be back to search the house again, and if they found her there upon their return, she would disappear into the void as well. She had seen in happen to countless others, entire families disappearing into the night, leaving their property all the easier for the Soviet wolf to swallow.

But as she left, she felt the guilt keener than any loss, feeling that it was somehow her fault, that she should have protected them, that she should have kept them safe. She carried it with her well into her adulthood, always a barb in her side, spurring her to become a better archer, a better tracker, a better hunter. Never again… she would never let it happen again. She swore it to herself and to Sylvia. I will not stand by again and lose all I love to the hands of powerful men. Never again. That’s what she told her.

But it happened again anyway.

The Sylvia she now lead through the woods was in much the same state as their cabin was that day: door ripped off its hinges, everything inside turned over and torn apart, everything sacred crushed against the floorboards. Even though she wouldn’t say it, even though she wouldn’t talk about it, Sasha could see it. She always had headaches, she always felt exhausted, but never could she sleep. Once again, Sasha found herself gazing upon the aftermath of a fate she only narrowly escaped and could only feel the guilt.

Sometimes Sylvia would flinch away when she tried to touch her. Sometimes, even in their little hovel, she would turn with her back to her, arms wrapped around herself as if trying to keep herself from shattering. Her own Sylvia, who was once so greedy for her touch, who was once so heated in her passions, would now recoil from the briefest brush of her fingertips. Though Sasha had no expectation of intimacy in their current circumstances, and though she understood that her time with the King had likely put Sylvia off the very idea, she couldn’t deny that it hurt.


A sort of rough draft for a book I’m making that’s going to be an epic poem, like Gawain and the Green Knight or Beowulf :smiley:

Lone is silent. Lone never speaks.

But I can hear her when she squeezes my hand.

It hurts.

One day Lone squeezed my hand extra-hard. It bled.

She started to pull me away from

The Town with the Spindly Trees.

I began to realize she was taking me away.

I straddled between fear and curiosity.

“Where are we going?” I asked Lone.

She smiled but did not reply. Lone’s smiles were sad smiles.

Lone was a shadow, with long dark hair and hollow eyes.

I never let anyone but me see her.

She never let anyone but her see me, either. She did not mix well with people.

She was like glue put in reverse,

Parting the waves of people with invisible fingers.

They did not stray close to her.

Maybe they thought Lone was contagious.

There were words on Lone’s lonely lips,

Like black maggots crawling about a dead carcass.

But Lone is silent, and Lone never speaks,

So she mouthed them.

“Empty World,” she oozed. “Empty World.”