• Kali and Profile picture of SJSJ are now friends 1 hour, 50 minutes ago

  • Nina's profile was updated 1 day, 12 hours ago

  • Ben Hunt and Profile picture of SMSM are now friends 4 days, 8 hours ago

  • Cities of Chance (Scene 3) by Michael Corvo#Violette and Corlwyn woke to a gray and cheerless dawn. The clear, bright evening had given way to a dull and leaden sky that seemed heavy with dark portents. Indeed, a […]

    • Ooooh I got shivers down my spine when I got to the end! The remnant of the heart of a mad God is such a wonderful line, what could be more mysterious and awash with danger? I enjoyed how this even threw Violette and she lost her cast iron exposure. Your pace is still great and the language consistent, so I am totally immersed when I’m reading. Excited for next week!

    • I agree with Aisling! That last part was chilling and thrilling! Such an intriguing set up and twist on their laid out plan. I also enjoyed your dialogue, it was easy to follow and gave good information at the same time. The only thing I was slightly confused about was Iaga’s name. I read it as Laga thinking a lowercase L, but that may be just a font thing. Overall really loved this scene! Thank you for sharing, I cannot wait to see what happens next!

    • I agree with the other comments- this is a create scene. The dialogue is natural and playful, the way you deliver details fits smoothly, and the growing tension is well done. Like someone else said, I was thrown off my the name Iaga as I also read it as Laga, but that seems to be a matter of font. Can’t wait for the next scene!

  • In a New York Minute by SM Prasad#Continuation from last scene: “I looked over at my screen and it had gone dark. Then a line of text in RED capital letters slid across the screen: SHUT UP! WE’RE WATCHING YOU! Th […]

    • Hi Sudha the story is moving along a-pace! I wonder if all the back story of her parents is relevant and if it is, if it could be revealed somehow else, in a flashback, or someway that avoids the ‘info dump’ and a whole lot of telling. The first half before the dialogue is also quite description heavy – lots of imagery that I feel needs to be toned down a bit or of not toned down (bc some of the images are very powerful) then at least broken up and not used in such a dense section. The storyline is strong tho, so am waiting for next week!

      • Sudha,
        You’ve got good plot and characters here. I like the detail of the origami crane. I like what you’ve written, but some of it may be better suited to be placed or revealed elsewhere, or in a different way. I wasn’t sure I needed to know about Al’s friendships/pranks within this scene, or that much detail about her parents. In fact, I think having some actual scenes from her childhood with her parents would be a way to share this backstory because I think it is a powerful one.
        I am definitely wondering what Jen is waiting to hear back from the lab about! -Becky

        • Hi Becky,
          It’s a fine line to not tell, but not have too many details. I was trying to find a way to explain why Jen loves Al without saying he’s nice. I like the idea of having scenes from her childhood played out and then we could have less of the flashback of her parents and maybe in a different chapter. Thank you for that suggestion.
          Thank you.

          • I appreciate that, I’m glad you are showing that he is nice rather than just saying it. Makes it more believable! So many fine lines in writing, we are learning so much from this project. I am interested in reading those flashback scenes with her parents!

      • Hi Deryn
        I guess I’m still struggling with “slowing down” which seemed to be the universal comment on the last chapter. I focused on staying in one room so that the scene wouldn’t have too much action but perhaps there is still too much info. I understand the need to break up some of the description.
        Thanks for the feedback.

      • Hi Deryn, my comment is below. I must have clicked the wrong box.

    • Hi Sudha, I like the how the plot is thickening with the ‘red letter message’ on her computer screen and her fear of being watched. I would have liked to see that happen in real time, rather than being told about it after the fact. I think it would have given the scene more impact and more power to Jen’s (and the reader’s) reaction.
      It felt like you rehashed a lot of the backstory that we learned in the first two scenes, obviously some of it is relevant as it gives us insight into her mental state, but I wonder if it couldn’t be shortened to allow more focus on the current event.
      I love the direction you’re taking the story, and can’t wait to see what happens next!

      • Hi Peggy,
        Thanks for your comment.
        The red letter message just happened in real time in the last chapter, and this is a continuation of that moment. So the fear is in the present. Perhaps I should put that in the comment and go back to see how I can make that clearer in the story itself.
        As for the amount of backstory, point well taken. I was trying to write a “reaction scene” so that the action wouldn’t move too fast. I’m thinking I could take some of it out and move to another chapter.

        • I guess I’ll have to go back and re-read the last scene as that red letter message moment didn’t come immediately to my memory. Maybe I’m reading too many stories, or writing too much (just finished the first SS prompt, and started scene 4).

          • Good for you for getting such a headstart on your writing. I need to work on the SS prompt .
            Thanks for your second comment.

    • Hi Sudha,

      Well done on Nr 3! And a lot can certainly happen in a minute, especially in NY!

      This is getting interesting with the letters flashing on her screen and the paranoia it inspired. I liked the descriptions of the glows of computers in the empty offices and I loved the description of Nancy! In two sentences you pinned everything about her. The origami was icing on the cake (millefeuille in your case ;)) Everybody needs a friend like Bernadine!

      I agree with Peggy that you can have a greater impact with the letters on screen by having that bit in real time. I also think some of the backstory can be moved to other scenes – all of it is important as it talks to Al’s bizarre behaviour and her childhood.

      The only comment I can offer is that I think you have a lot of potentail here to exploit the paranoia element – at the start she imagines someone staring at her with binoculars, she needs to have her apartment swept for listening devices and she wants the special mobile phones from work.

      I can’t wait to see where this goes and how it comes together!
      Looking forward to next week!

      • Hi Jan,
        Thanks for your comments.
        I really appreciate them. I can see that “slowing down” and being in the moment is something that I struggle with so I will have to try again for the next scene. I like the idea of exploiting more of the fear/paranoia–clearly I need to isolate the emotion and drill down on it.
        you have clarified what I need to do and I am very grateful
        My next attempt will be to figure out why Bernadine is her friend. I don’t know yet.
        Thanks so much!

    • Wow you tell us a lot in this scene and, while it is written well and compelling, I wished you had show more even if that meant we learned less. A flashback showing us what a fun guy Al was would allow us to get a better feeling of who he is. And I also didn’t remember what the message said – though I do remember thinking he was kidnapped and that the breakup had been to keep her out of whatever trouble he was in. It’s hard to imagine you can keep up this pace, but it’s a good storyline.

      • Hi Nina,
        Thanks for reading and commenting. I am working on slowing down, clearly it’s been a big transition from short story to novel scenes. I appreciate your point about a flashback with Al-I think that would be a fun scene to write. I added the message at the top of the story so that people will remember what it was and that it was a continuation of the same scene.
        I’m figuring it out as I go along, and I am working on slowing down.

    • Oh, Al does sound like a dream of a guy, which makes his behaviour all the more inexplicable. I must say who he is in this scene fitted better with the MC’s distress and falling apart than the description in the first scene, where we didn’t quite see this unbelievably charismatic guy; but rather someone who is grey with exhaustion and not much fun. It feels as though – as reader – one should be introduced to Al’s charisma before we see him all washed out and spineless. It would make the shock so much bigger.
      I’m with Jan on that you’d do well developing the MCs feelings, and focusing on that, rather than “what happens next”. I love where this story is going…

      • Hi Hanri,
        It’s going to be hard to figure out where the story actually “starts”. I remember that Mia had said that it won’t be until at least March that we have an idea. I appreciate your idea about seeing how great Al is at first so that the disappointment to his muted reaction in the first scene is more dramatic. I am working hard on concentrating on feelings. I’m hoping the next scene I write will accomplish that.
        Thanks for your feedback.

    • I enjoyed reading this and feel drawn into the story even though I have not (yet) read the previous scenes. The description of looking out the window after dark felt authentic and brought me into the scene. I was a little surprised that Al had broken up with her after reading the paragraph where she felt she was losing him, but that could be because I’m new to the story. I feel a little suspicious of both Nancy and Bernadine, but maybe that’s just because I’m catching the ma’s paranoia. Looking forward to the next installment.

      • Hi Kathy,
        Thanks for reading the story -it’s good sometimes to hear about it as a standalone, if possible. Thank you for commenting on the opening lines about a city at night-there’s such a feeling of anticipation when you see a panorama of windows glittering in the dark. I’m glad you picked up on the paranoia.
        Thanks so much for your response.

    • Hi Sudha

      This rocks along at a great pace and the tension mounts alongside. I like the way you describe her fears that grow and the support that comes from Nancy several times giving us a great insight into her character too. Curious to know what’s going to happen next and how this unravels.

      If there’s anything to tweak, it might be that it’s a little too fast with a lot of things all going on at the same time in the same scene. There’s perhaps a little too much detail, holding back a little could build into the background without being so overt, which will help you overall.


      • Hi Martin,
        Yes, details, details. It’s definitely tough to figure out when to put them in and when to hold back. I’m hoping that as subsequent scenes get written and I have an idea of what they are , I wil be able to move some of them into other scenes for the sake of flow.
        Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • The Aftermath (Scene 3, Destined) by R.L. NelZelda#”Do you believe that Alberto was destined to die that night?” Rachel suddenly asks me. “Like, would he have died in a different way at that exact time if he had […]

    • The intro to and the flashback itself engaged me completely. I wondered if you could open the scene with the first three paragraphs, move the free will comments to wrap up the scene maybe? I don’t know. The last line is a nice tease but…I feel like the flashback allows us to see more of Alberto so that the talk about free will and choices – how he was, jumping into things, – makes a stronger connection. I hope that makes sense to you. This is such a powerful story.

    • Rachel, I loved this scene. The description of the foam laced wave over the scraggly rocks like a bridal veil is really good-It’s a great image and it’s also a sign of Zelda’s longing-so it appears to be doing “double duty”-which I always admire. The opening was great. What an uncomfortable question to ask Zelda-I read it a couple of times because it’s almost shocking.
      This feeling that you passed on here, “When his arms enveloped me, it felt like a homecoming. But I had no time to dwell on that. I turned my mouth towards his ear and whispered: “When I introduce you to everyone, please just pretend that the two of us are old friends.'”-was a universal feeling of knowing when you have found the right relationship for yourself-so I found that particularly insightful.
      The discussion about free will slowed down the pace as I was eagerly absorbing the story. It’s an important idea but perhaps you would consider breaking it up a little or putting in elsewhere?
      This story is so well written-I’m intrigued by Alberto’s confidence and of course his history with Tallie’s girlfriend.
      great scene.

    • Beautiful job setting the scene for the conversation between Zelda and Rachel. The silvered sea and the bridal veil are especially nice. Nice contrast between the contemplative conversation with Rachel and the almost frenetic scene in the restaurant.

      I would have like to see more of the restaurant, though. Was it light or dark? Smoky? Noisy? What was Zelda eating, since she wasn’t carb loading, or more to the point, how did it look & smell? And how did Alberto smell when she hugged him?

      I have to admit that I haven’t had many women hug me at first meeting, especially not relatives & without someone to introduce us. Must be doing something wrong. 🙂 That’s an interesting characteristic of Zelda’s. Can’t decide if it’s impetuous or if she’s always that friendly.

      I’m enjoying the story. It’s very easy to read (& by that I don’t mean elementary, but instead well-written). Keep it coming.

  • “You were not supposed to leave it out of your sight for a single moment.”“I didn’t, I swear. It was always right there behind me on the shelf.”‘Where you couldn’t see it’, the woman thought. The stub-nosed blon […]

    • What an interesting family poor Dimitry has married into. I can’t wait to learn more about them. I think we are in for quite an adventure. Good change of scene from Scene 2. Leaving the reader hanging for a bit. Now that we know who Evie is up against, the plunge into darkness seems more menacing.

    • Omg great job with the mother-in-law. When Dmitri feared she would bite his head off, I believed that quite literally. I liked the pace of this scene and the visuals were spot on. Having her move about getting a sense of the woman, working out that she was headed for St Petersburg, worked perfectly to set up the adventure about to unfold. See you in St Petersburg next week?

    • Hi Eva,
      This was a great scene. The way you described Evie through Dimitry’s eyes is absolutely brilliant. And that family … sheesh! My brain is working overtime to keep track of all the theories I’ve come up with. Also a great job with the Monster-in-law. Lol. I look forward to next Wednesday. 😀
      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Hi Eva Maria – loving it…especially the emphasis that we are in the 21st century and yet weird stuff can still happen. The MIL is brilliantly depicted. Real Adams family stuff!! x D

    • Hi Eva- Maria
      This is the first scene I’ve read and found it riveting. I love the dialogue and hearing Dmitry’s inner thoughts, they marry up really well.
      Picky alert: He does a lot of shrugging. I”m not sure I’d have dared to with a MIL like that, it could look dismissive. Also his rather sarcastic response that St P is a small place. I’d have hit him myself for that. Last picky: describing their special gifts as disabilities – would powers be more accurate? The gifts they have sound empowering, albeit in a weird way, rather than disabling. If I’d read these in finished novel I’d have had to think for a bit, but this is a cracking job and I’m certainly going to check in for scene 4.

      • Hi Anne, thank you for taking the time to read and for your input. I must go back and check re: shrugging. As to Dmitry’s sarcastic remark about SPB, well, I don’t think it’s a punishable offence, to be honest. Also, he knows he’s playing with fire. As to the disabilities: I meant the fact, that some of them cannot stand sunlight, others water (this is not a realistic story, these people not quite like you and me)

    • Great scene! I liked the introduction of the mother-in-law who is a bit more than she appears. I’m ready for the ensuing cat and mouse adventure that appears to be forthcoming!

    • A really good use of dialogue driven scene. The family dynamic is captured great you really have a feel for what is going on.

  • The Alaria Gateway by Kali Goodenough


    The pigeon arrives just as dawn breaks, startling Meryn, though she has been awaiting its arrival for days. It settles onto the edge of the window box, cooing gently. The […]

    • SJ replied 40 minutes ago

      Yes! This should be the first scene of your novel. I was hooked in the first paragraph. I want to know what the alduran stone is and why the pigeon is wearing it around its neck.
      In this scene, you have the inciting incident that sets everything in motion, and Meryn’s journey begins.
      This scene is full of sensory details. For example:
      The detail of Touch: “…downy chest,” “Meryn reaches out a finger and gently strokes its feathers…”
      The detail of Hearing: “…the rumble of vehicles on the street…,” This detail also adds to the visuals of the scene.
      The detail of Visual: “Sunlight sweeps up over the edge of the city and makes its way across the neighborhoods, turning shadow into a glittering world of metal,” ” When the light hits the golden tower…,” “Her dep red tunic, made for royal occasions, stands out in the sea of muted colors that make up Taren dress code…”
      These are just a few examples of the details in this first scene.
      There is much action towards the end of this scene that makes me want to read on to the next scene. It also serves to move the story forward.
      This scene has a great introduction to your character and the inciting incident. Your setting, along with the action, allows this scene to come alive. There is suspense and conflict. The scene’s end is dramatic and adds to the suspense, which keeps the reader hooked and interested in what will happen next.
      Well done!

  • Scene 3 by Adam Jeffrey


    In twelve months, as he placed his hand on the bible and swore to tell the whole truth, Alexander Nicholson would recall this very day when he set out to purge the leaners and laggards […]

    • Hi Adam, I am delighted to meet your third character and intrigued. The three of them are so different, it makes for such a promising story and I genuinely cannot wait to see how their individual storylines are related.
      You’ve done such a great job of describing Nicholson in both appearance and character. I have just one tiny comment. After the first line where you gave his full name, you consistently referred to him as Nicholson with the exception of a couple of times later on where you used Alexander. The latter threw me a bit because of the change, but also I think because calling him by his surname seemed to fit his role and personality better. It could just be me being picky though.
      As usual, you treated us to gorgeously crafted imagery and turn of phrases. I especially loved ‘fell like a coat without a hanger’ and ‘The men here were harder, a hungrier, more desperate edge to every jawline, combed hair, worn-out jacket. In the country, they looked after their own, even the ratbags. Down here, it was every man for himself.’
      I hope you’re enjoying the historical research and I look forward to the next scene… 🙂

      • Oh thanks for the Alexander pick up. I remember thinking about that at some point and making a note to correct it, but clearly slipped my mind (again). Yes have enjoyed landing back 100 years ago, but also trying not to get too bogged down in it. Difficult balance. Now, how on earth do these three connect 🙂
        Haha…onward and upward.

    • Deryn replied 4 days ago

      Hi Adam – ok so now we have the 3 characters – will we find out next week how they are connected, I wonder? I think this is a better piece than the other 2 – It’s a great description of him physically and of his psyche. I wonder if callisthenics would have been ‘ a thing’ in Victorian times, tho? Altogether intriguing enough to keep us reading.

      • You might have to wait a little longer for the three to come together (as I try to work out the how). Re morning exercises, I think people (especially military) have been doing callisthenics since the roman days. My grandfather who fought in WW1 did 500 skips of a rope every morning until he was over eighty. Thanks for keeping on reading.

    • This is a great scene. Really great. In fact, if it doesn’t matter to the overall story structure too much, I’d lead with this as the opening chapter of the book. No question.
      Alexander Nicholson has a great voice, very commanding but at the same time he is flawed. Just not in the way he thinks he is. 😉 He is off to a great start.
      The narrative is concise and to the point with tons of details delivered in a polished way.
      This bit is a great example: “Miss Sullivan, get me Chambers,” he bellowed through the smoked glass door to his Assistant. Her chair juddered on the lino as soon as his words reached her, then he listened to her heels click away down the wood-lined corridor.
      It fills my head with plenty additional imagery you don’t need to add in text. Nice work and I can’t complain about anything.

      • Yep I’ve got no idea what the opener is. I think I’ll end up writing three chapters each one focused around each of the characters and then set up the collision of innocence, wisdom, and power – now just have to work out what brings them all together???? Thanks for staying with this

    • Great scene! I enjoyed the imagery that you gave. I could really picture this scene and the main character very clearly.
      Thank you for sharing!

  • One can’t always choose – from Seven Sides of Silence – by Honey Mustard


    Faye Willis was a confident, iron-lady type go-getter. Highly competent at her job, and adept at handling high-stakes, high-conflict […]

    • Hi Hanri,

      O wow! I loved this scene and how you did it, élégant descriptions and dialogue. It felt like I was sitting there at the table listening to them. The story is getting very interesting and I love the references to Alma’s challenges at home and her challenge now at work.
      I love the image of her brushing an imaginary hair off her arm and then refocussing on the problem at hand – I found that very convincing and a

      • *I pressed send again without finishing.. apologies.
        Appropriate for an ambitious and outspoken lady such as Faye.
        I’ve only one comment regardring the mysterious yellow envelope – as this scene flows seamlessly from the previous one this might not be relevant but perhaps consider at the start making a quick reference to it, as Faye’s discomfort with regards to it, to push the curiousity from the readers’ side (as it is it’s already high!!)
        Brilliant scene, I look forward to next week!

    • Hi Hanri,
      Really absorbing scene with a lot of information to understand. You did a good job with the foreshadowing because I had begun to suspect that Faye and Dennis were involved romantically somehow-this is what is making Faye extra agitated.
      The comparison between Faye’s life and Alma’s relationship with Michael is interesting and it works in that of course, Alma would compare Faye’s relationship story to her own. However, the ending of that flashback ties up a little too neatly . Michael sounds like a difficult person and it was a relief that Alma blew up at him. Perhaps we can see that in another scene. And if she is feeling worried about losing him, we should see why she feels she should try to save their relationship, again in another scene because so far, we’ve seen no redeeming characteristics about what makes him worth it. . Phoning him to apologize pushes the reader out of that story where you built up the conflict so well in the prior scenes. You might be able to get away with giving us less of that flashback-just that Michael had argued with Alma about the camp in front of Emma and that it made Alma angry. It’s a potentially a very interesting view into that conflict that can get a scene of its own somewhere else.
      Your details about the company and what it does are great. Maybe a reference or example of why Faye admire’s Alma’s abilities-her brilliant work on a prior case or her handling of a high profile situation would let the reader understand as well.
      The story is very interesting-I love thrillers and reading this one is exciting!

      • Sudha, this is fantastic feedback – I can do so much with it. Thank you! I’ll take you up on giving the flashback its own airtime when the opportune prompt comes along.
        And yes, this is beginning to look a bit like a thriller. Let’s see.

    • Hi Honey – or do you prefer Honey Mustard?
      I am getting drawn into this story which means you are doing what you need to do; capture the interest of the reader and I think that is happening because it is clear each character is conflicted both internally and externally (either at work or home). Both have moral dilemmas to deal with and emerging blind spots. This is a great place to land a reader… we want to find out what they will do next. How will they deal with situations that challenge who they think they are (their identities). There were a couple of moments that took me out of the story; the descriptions or backstory of the company. If you could get that down to half a dozen sentences and drip feed the back story I think that would keep inside the story. Also the “pelarver” check spelling and “warrah warrah” which I am guessing is the equivalent of the American yada yada or the Aussie blah blah blah. But it is very specific culturally. I’m not sure about changing it – just naming what happened.
      I love the little gestures – brushing an imaginary hair off her sleeve – loved it!! These tell us so much about the characters; what they are feeling and not wanting to feel. Looking forward to scene 4.

  • He’s the first thing she sees when she opens her eyes in the morning. He sits there, on her bed, with a wide grin plastered on his face and the twinkle in his eyes seemingly greeting her back to the land of w […]

    • Deryn replied 4 days ago

      Are you even plotting this…are you pantsing again, submitting 30 mins before the deadline??? HOW DO YOU DO IT??? You are a demon. And btw, didn’t spot any grammatical horrors, you even nailed that aspect as well.
      I was kind of sorry that her ‘ nemesis’ smells sickly sweet and turns out to be a baddie, rendering her unconscious…I was hoping for a flirtatious meeting when she denies having pikachu, or similar, but I’m a dyed in the wool romantic…

      I LOVED the opening, such a misdirection of who she wakes up next to…you are hysterical. Humour, mystery…it’s all here. Love love.

    • Brilliant opening and great scene. I was a little surprised by the ending, but of course if he just asked nicely, where would be the fun? At least she’ll have a respite from her boring job and awful boss 🙂

    • Hi Anne,
      I get that whole last-minute stressed out feeling!
      I’m really getting a sense of your MC personality, and you’ve done a great job of making her relatable to the reader. We’ve all had that kind of boss. It’s a perfect way to get the reader to really care about her. I thought you did an excellent job of foreshadowing any threats. The only tiny suggestion I have is I wonder if there’s any way you can create her discomfort during her morning walk to the coffee shop. I felt too disconnected when she was in a happy mood in the elevator to suddenly thinking she’s being followed. Perhaps have a black cat cross her path or something like that… just a thought!

  • Sc3 Canal Girl Destined by Martin Haworth


    “Come on boys, get yer arses up here, we’re leavin’.”

    The burly seaman continued to wind the mooring ropes aboard round creaking capstans on the deck high above.

    “If […]

    • Hi Martin – OK I accept there’s a plan to tie what you have already written and this so will comment on this scene like a stand alone…I liked the descriptions but thought you were a little repetitive regarding their leaving Ireland and why …maybe condense the whole famine/mass exodus into one paragraph along with the limited choices they have in where to go. A nice para of the contract between the fertile land of their birth and how the famine has reduced them to being thieves and scroungers. But I liked how you brought to life (with the exception of Shane, shame) the whole sea crossing and imagery of the wharf. Can’t wait to find out the connection with your characters from Sc 1 & 2…

      • Hi Deryn
        Thank you so much for taking the time to read my scene and comment. I fully appreciate what you’re saying. I know that this scene is too long, and I overwrote it rather miss anything out at this stage. Partly, because I’m not quite sure yet where this is going in terms of the timeline for reasons that will come out as the story unfolds, and also, well, because this scene actually can be a lot shorter as it is not the main plot – not a reaction scene, but a parallel story that comes together for the main plot later.

        Of course, you will see how this fits in with the bigger story, although I’m not guaranteeing quite when! It needs to be carefully paced and when I read, I see examples of how it works well, so this is a big learning curve for me. This is not because I don’t know roughly, but because this will need to evolve as the story unfolds. It will not take too long for the links to be formed but I need to use this time to set the scene here first.

        Thanks again


    • Hi Martin, I read your scene as a stand alone as I had missed a scene from the previous posts. So the issue of where in the story we are I put aside. Your scene is incredibly exciting and there’s a wealth of things for the reader to think about. Some of your sentences contain too many subjects for me and I got a little overwhelmed by them – ‘ The squally cascades of rain poured through the shabby coverings above them, though this source of water was the least of their problem as they exited the channel into the open seas.’ might benefit from pruning later on. You’re tackling a massive historical event, and one incredibly worthy of exploration and to avoid overwhelming the reader you might like to consider telling the story from a single persons POV and narrowing it down to give specific details. The ship becoming wrecked is a whole scene’s worth of writing in itself. Don’t pass over the chance to explore the drama and tension in such an event. I hope this stream of the story (no aquatic pun intended) will be used in your novel. The famine, Irish immigration, shipwrecks, smugglers and ruthless money making are all fantastic dramatic subjects to write about. Thank you for sharing this.

      • Hi Julie

        Thank you so much for commenting – I appreciate it. I’m grateful for your feedback. In fact, I think I overwrote this part of the story. It is needed to put into context another important character who is intrinsic to the story. So, on the one hand my zeal with adjectives can be tightened, but on the other, far be it from me to minimise the huge story of the Irish famine, I have to have it in perspective with the main storyline.

        I will, as the story unfolds (for which I have a shifting plan already!), hope this context becomes clearer.


    • What an exciting and gripping scene, slowed down some by repetition as Deryn mentioned, but I’m guessing you’ll go back once you’ve finished and pick and choose the best. I have to admit to being thoroughly lost and I did go back to check on scene two which was what I remembered. And then of course your comment about having a plan makes sense. Can’t wait to see how you put these amazingly different worlds together.

      • Hi Nina

        Thank you so much for reading my scene, I really appreciate it. I know it might seem a little confusing, but I didn’t want that to get in the way of the progress of the story as a whole. Whilst I know in some cases people just write scenes out of order, which may avoid some confusion, I couldn’t bring myself to do that this time.

        I promise all will gradually come into shape and make it worthwhile!



    • Hi Martin,
      I liked the movement and action of the scene, especially how you described the walls of water attacking the ship and the cramped cargo hold below. It is repetitive and reads almost like a stream of consciousness, so if you wanted to use it in that way or as part of a dream -this type of fervid display of storm, shipwreck, greed, desperation, poverty, sickness and death would be an interesting aspect of a character.
      Or, it could be broken up in bits as someone is reading it or hearing it.
      Either way, I enjoyed how much the scene moves to illustrate the bitter hardship and tragic ends that so many of the Irish peasants faced during this time in history.
      I enjoyed it for what it was, I’m glad you explained that it was a standalone piece.

      • Hi Sudha

        Thank you for taking the time to read my scene, I really appreciate that of you. I know this is a confusing at this stage but this scene does play a part as the story evolves, and when you look back there will be a link to both chapters that have already been written. I’m not going to go into that right now, as it will spoil the story, (not that I’m completely clear for myself yet anyway!). As I said elsewhere, I think this will be a shorter scene perhaps and it is currently written, because I don’t want you to take over the whole story, as it is an adjunct to it.



    • Martin!
      This is great. The cold, the wet, the hunger… you do a great job of putting us there. It made me wonder about my own Irish ancestors…but not so much I was taken out of the story. I’m eager to see how this blends with the first two sections! You have a gift at description though.
      One place i got confused and on re reading I think you just missed a character name… I do this often too. Seamus, Shane and Padraig are the characters i think (though at one point i thought Shane was a nickname for Seamus. Might consider a name that starts with another letter when you are further along. ). here is the sentence that confused me: “They shook Seamus again and went to fetch some water”…I think this is real Shane, not Seamus nicknamed Shane.


      • Hi Georgiana

        I’m very grateful that you took the time to read my scene. I appreciate it might be a little confusing with the overall story at this stage, but I needed to get this into my head to enable it to fit as things progress. I’ll take a look at your comments about the Shane and Seamus issue. I particularly like your idea of changing names, especially this early in the book, so that might be a great solution to avoid confusion. Also, I never knew that Seamus and Shane were synonymous either, so that sounds like a good move.

        Someone connected with me on Facebook today called Darragh, so I think he might be going in the book now – little does he know!

        I really appreciate your input.



  • The Light is Low by Peggy RockeyScene 3 – Magera#It was just after eight o’clock when Magera arrived back at her apartment building. Normally, this early in the night, she would have strolled down to the Emb […]

    • Hi Peggy,

      Well done on Nr 3! There was a lot of mouvement in this scene but at no point did I feel lost as the narration is fluid and easy.

      Benji surprised me with being so worried about the girl and he obviously likes her a lot (shown by the car racing off at the end) but then they don’ talk everyday… I thought Magera would argue more with him as she takes the role of the calm and reasonable friend.
      Suggestion – I’m wondering if it could not be more impactful if you have her sending Benji a text saying she is on her way (or even something earlier that day), can’t wait to see him xxx, and then she never arrives.

      I like Magera a lot, her goodness and beautiful heart are apparent on the page, apart from her big acts of kindness and friends, also in the details like she not telling him what a PA is.

      I can’t wait to see how this unfolds and I look forward to next week!

      • Hi Jan, I knew there was something not quite right with my scene, and I think you nailed it exactly. SuSu should have texted him at some point during the week, to give more credence for Benji’s level of angst. But since I know what happened to her, I know she couldn’t have texted her today. She could have done it on Monday or Tuesday, after the job interview, though… I’ll give this some thought and will remember to add this to my edited copy.
        Thanks so much for pointing this out to me!

    • Hey Peggy!
      I’m a little confused…. are these the same characters as from the first two scenes? They were Cho and Minsang and now Benji and SuSu? Or are these more characters? I like using Magera as the connection… and i have a feeling she’s going to be very involved in solving this mystery. But where did Benji go off to? Very worried about him too.

      Looking forward to next week!

      • Hi G, thanks for reading! Benji was introduced in the first scene, but it was a small part where Magera greets Benji and learns that he’s waiting for his girlfriend to take her out on a date. I have a few more characters to introduce in the coming scenes, but they’re all connected, and (I hope) necessary to the overall plot/story. They are all involved in achieving the same goal and will ultimately face the same antagonist at one point or another. Hopefully I can pull it off – I know most of the story, but the ending is still a bit fuzzy.

    • The mystery deepens. 😉 I found the scene solid and the characters react in a believable way. I do however like the idea of a text message from her to convince us she was genuine. Or if that doesn’t work, you can do it some other way. Just note that the lady at her house said she’s been gone since Sunday/Monday. For the sake of continuity know in your head where the girl is and what happened to her so when others report on her it lines up.
      The brother sounded good and full of it. Like something happened between them. He sounds just done with her and will be a nice obstacle or point of conflict later. A suggestion. I would have ended his phone call sooner:
      “… I’m sure she’s fine.” Then say: The line went dead.
      If he was in such a rush, he won’t repeat stuff he’s already said. Just an idea. 😉
      Then for this part:
      “I’ll go see her tomorrow and see if she has any ideas on how or where to search for SuSu, without drawing attention to ourselves or leading us into danger…”
      I don’t understand the reference to drawing attention to ourselves or leading us into danger. Why would she think like that? If someone is missing you want a lot of attention on it. I think you’re foreshadowing something to come, but the characters don’t know about it yet. I hope that makes sense.
      I liked this, plenty of urgency and action and nice conflict content on the brother.

    • Hi Peggy,
      You are moving us along slowly, I like that. One little note about the “code blue”. If Charles had to go to the code blue and it was already being announced he either wouldn’t pick up the phone or it would be so loud, he wouldn’t be able to hear Magera You could have the announcement made sometime after he starts the conversation with her and then he ‘d get off really quickly and abruptly .
      I like the point that Jan made about a little bit more conversation from SuSu. Also, I’m not sure we need to know this yet, but I’m curious about the relationship between Magera and Benji-They must be pretty close for her to agree to check out Susu’s apartment-or perhaps, she’s doing some amateur sleuthing for a different reason.
      One more little suggestion: “…she relayed the things Sung Li had told her”…I would substitute things with a different word-advice, caution, suspicions etc. It will add a little more color to that sentence.
      Great scene-definitely looking forward to the next!!

    • Uh oh, I think Benji is headed for trouble! I agree with others that his level of concern would be more consistent with more communication or attempts at communication with SuSu in the preceding days. The pace of this scene was good and I definitely want to turn the page to see what happens next!

  • Black Sheep (scene3) by Dionne Foley


    Turned out the other guys Ryan was talking about were the ones that were sitting at Jimmy’s table, Jimmy included.

    “Falcon my man what ‘cha you doing with them?” Jimmy y […]

    • Hi Dionne! It’s hard to comment on these first drafts of scenes, but I would like to share what works and doesn’t work for me. There is a lot of action in this scene and you are doing a great job describing the fight and the way her brother, friend, and Snake take care of her and cover for her. What I am missing at this point, though, are some ‘explanations’, or rather, the motivation for the MC’s (and others’) actions. MC seems to have some superpowers (at least superhuman strength) and that is fine. What I do not understand is the level of aggression in this 12-year-old girl. Or the adults’ violent reaction towards her. She’s not even a teenager yet, but this Jimmy guy (even if he is ‘only’ 18-21 yrs old) reacts like she is his peer, an adult woman who is threatening his masculinity… I don’t know what you have planned, but this scene here, and the one before, would work a lot better if she were at least 17-18 (Jimmy saying the she ‘isn’t his type’ is a little creepy when he is talking about a 12-year-old). Again, I don’t know what you have planned. There are just so many questions at this point: what’s the deal with her dad, for example? does he hate her? why? and why is she being prepared to take over the family business rather than her elder brother? why is everybody telling her to ‘not be herself’? why does she seem to hate everyone and everything (apart from being a pre-teen)? I hope my questions are helpful in some way, I will keep reading for answers 😉

      • If my ideas pan out it should make a more sense soon. It hard to try and do this scene by scene and it is a style i never written before so it is a interesting go at it. I also may not start with this in the next run through. I can say the MC has been through some shit, will continue to go through some shit and will hopefully find where she belongs and with people who like her for who she is and what she can bring to the table.

        • Yeah, I thought you probably didn’t start at the beginning, just wanted to check in with my impressions. Thanks for taking the time to reply 🙂

  • tinsbended#3 by nsbnina


    Giddy from her interview with Alden Smythe and the single malt, Clarissa was reckless as she navigated the twists and turns of the road, the endless road she and her sisters had called […]

    • Ah Nina – characteristically lyrical. Clarissa seems like a very resilient woman, though.- Will be interesting to see what role her ex has later on, if any.
      Just one comment re ‘Michael’s father’s mother’ – it seems a clumsy way of saying either just grandmother or if you want to be more precise then ‘paternal grandmother’ but a small detail. Lovely writing that moves the story along nicely.

    • I adore this line:
      her scarf flying out the window, fluttering like laughter.

      The story is great. It will resinate with quite a few readers. My only issue is it is too low key. Next scene you’re going to need some spice.

      Keep writing!!!

      • It’s meant to be low key, a small reaction, before the action. Glad you liked the scarf line. I loved that visual and what it says about Magda, who will add some spice when she appears.

    • Hi Nina, I love the line ‘Shards of memory that cut the deepest.’ It sounds like Clarissa had dealt with so much and yet, I love how you ended this scene with her binning the past and moving on despite her pain. I have to confess that after your second scene, I am haunted (in the best possible way!) by the house they are moving into and I cannot wait for you to take us back there…

    • Some very nice moments here. I especially like the scarf flapping like laughter. And the contrast between the happy time and the sad time is poignant. I’m a little afraid of what we’re going to find out about this family, but I feel good about Clarissa. At least at this point, she looks like making it.

    • Nina, I really liked this scene. I am a sucker for the ‘low-key’. You did a lovely job capturing Clarissa’s state of mind, the mixture of happy memories and unhappy present moments, but also her determination to get on with her life. Looking forward to next week 😉

    • Hi Nina,
      I like low-key-It’s something I struggle with so I felt that I learned a lot from yours.
      Clarissa’s determination to carry on despite her troubles is illustrated well. We don’t know yet, where she gets this sense of purpose, but I imagine we will see it. I liked this line, “The little face that looked up held secrets of its own now” I think that is a universal feeling that parents feel when their children have experiences away from them. That observation really struck me. Of course, being a New Englander myself, I loved the “wicked cool” line-great reference to how people speak there. This line seems to speak volumes and is definitely a great hook for the next scene, “She hadn’t figured on losing Michael though. Not really. Even knowing him as she did.” I lingered on the Even and it seems that she had misgivings when she got involved with him. I really appreciated the subtlety of that line.
      Great scene.

    • A sombre scene nicely executed. I liked the hint of characters to come, the flashes of memory slowly unveiling the story of a person’s life. It comes at the reader in the way of memories – fragments of emotion amidst a real-world foreground. I enjoyed the scarf flapping like a laugh, too, and the trace of a song. That she knows there’s a creak in the door speaks to how well she knows the house. Opening with the winding road which she ‘navigates recklessly’ is an omen for the journey they’re to embark on.

    • Hi Nsbnina, I loved how you’ve seamlessly woven together the mother’s emotions of leaving a chapter of her life behind. How we see that she is comforted by her daughter Amy and how Amy comforts her. I love the story telling section then the memory of their fishing trip.It’s beautifully written piece. I love the symbolism of the cup and her decision to let go of the past. Apart from one clunky sentence that has been commented on nothing snagged my reading of your story. There’s a lovely contemplative pace to this. I must now go back and catch up. Wonderful.

    • Anne replied 3 days ago

      Hi Nina,
      This scene was so beautifully executed! It filled me with pain as I read about Clarissa’s anguish and her exchange with Amy, but the last sentence is so filled with hope. Is it too soon to say I dislike Michael already? 😛
      Thanks for sharing.

    • Wow, that went from happy to sad so quick. I like the range of emotions and the way you set her mood. There is plenty she needs to deal with all while trying to put a brave face on for her child. The way you tell the backstory while living in the present is also well conceived. I don’t ever think that I’m reading the background – it just comes naturally.
      “It looked lonely, like it knew she was leaving it. Like it was alive to be left.” The end of this sentence doesn’t fit exactly. Just reword it perhaps. Reads like a typing error.
      The exchange between the daughter and mother is also on point. Distracted daughter, mother trying her best. Very nice.

      Nice one – I don’t have anything else helpful to add. 😉

  • 3/52 by maria delaney


    (I have changed the 2nd scene. Nala is no longer at Chamomile’s with the other ladies for tea. Instead, I have her preparing lunch for Milo, Captain Calico’s first mate and Nala’s […]

    • Nice job with the romantic complications and relationships. Poor Milo. The Mona Lisa smile struck me curious but I liked it. I love that for Milo food came first. As to his poem…bless his heart 🙂

    • I don’t know who I feel more sorry for, Milo or Nala, both pining for someone they aren’t likely to have for themselves. I suspect Milo will figure out that Nala’s just keeping him around as a plaything, but perhaps not, as he does seem rather immature, and based on his poem, he’s got it bad for her.
      You’ve definitely got the complicated love thing going on here, it’ll be interesting to see how it develops.

  • La Rage – Scene 3 Sunday Evening by Jan


    The Lexus’ headlights caught the road bicycle mounted on the left wall of the garage. The red fluorescent of its frame glittered as the garage doors rose. 

    Jamie ti […]

    • Hi Jan – well you have definitely left us on a cliff hanger… !
      There is LOTS of description of the house, location etc in here – feels a bit packed with some uncessesary detail that you could show us later and not tell us now, whilst still illustrating that Dan is a lover of good things and the high life – we saw that in the first couple of scenes. I would also have liked to hear the conversation (maybe without all the medical details) of the convo between Jamie and his father in law. You tell us the FIL is always waiting for THAT call that his fast and furious son has had an accident or worse, so maybe show the relief in the phonve convo and how he tries to calm Jamie who now lets the flood of emotion out. Still a page turner, tho!!

      • Thank you for reading and commenting me Deryn!
        Apologies for all the descriptions – I agree that these could be spaced more evenly in the first two and subsequent scenes. I also think it is a good idea to develop the dialogue of the conversation with the FIL. Initially I had wanted a quiet scene – I saw the old man sitting there in his study, talking on the phone, but not hearing what he is saying, but now I think I want to take a closer look over his shoulder and listen in. Thank you!

    • Hi Jan
      I really loved the way you conveyed Jamie’s emotional state in the opening lines, so much given to us in very few words. Dr McCrae was well-drawn, both physically and his character, and I’m even warming to Dan now that I know how much he loves Jamie. I’ll stop snarking about him.
      The description of the opulence of their material wealth has now been well-demonstrated and I’d love to hear more about their early relationship with all the bumps and problems to give me a more rounded picture of what they’re like. I may be warming to Dan but he’s still a rich kid with attitude, can I see what’s beneath all tha?
      Dr M’s river of unhappy memories is intriguing and the line “No matter how hard he swam, the shore never got closer” is heart-rending. Whatever happened to run this deep?
      You’ve set up a good mystery – is it Dan’s or Dr M’s actions that have led to the threat “your son will be first”. What was Dan’s accident and does Jamie know about it? Looking forward to finding out….

      • Hi Anne,
        Wow, thank you! Many thanks for the kind words and comments. I’ve been focussing on description (a bit too much I think) and describing characters, what you tell me is very reassuring. Don’t worry about snarking Dan, you should save some for later! He changed for the better but before that he wasn’t a nice guy. We will be visiting their early days and Dr M’s burdens also – he is one to watch.
        Thank you for following the story 🙂

    • Hi Jan,
      Please don’t apologize for the great descriptions! I found that it helped anchor me to the story and especially the characters, their motivations and their backstory. It’s amazing how much you are able to convey about a person by seeing where they live and why they chose to live there, and you’ve done that very well with this scene.
      The FIL seems almost too good to be true, his interest and acceptance of Jamie, joining him on bike rides – It almost felt like he might be attracted to his future SIL, but perhaps he’s just relieved his wild son has a partner that calms him down.
      I would have liked to hear the conversation where Jamie relays the news of Dan’s hospitalization – “that call” that Robert always feared would come one day.
      And the ending is the perfect cliff hanger, the kind that will keep me turning the page to know what comes next!

      • Thank you Peggy! When it comes to the big assembly and edit I think it might be a good idea to redistribute some of the descriptions. I had a lot here as I felt I didn’t have enough in the first two scenes (how we learn :))
        Yes, the FIL is one too watch and your intuition is absolutely on point.
        As Deryn also mentioned, I’ll build the dialogue of that scene for “that call”
        Thank you!

    • Hi Jan – goodness, “your son will be first” – that was freaky! Reminded me of a story my std 1 teacher told her impressionable class once which scared me so that I couldn’t sleep for days. It is still early in the story – you’re still setting it all up, and hence I think that descriptions of scenes and characters are perfectly appropriate. Were you to tone that down, you’ll have to tell us, your readers, about your scene and context and characters in different ways, e.g. through dialogue. So don’t worry too much about descriptions for now. You need them as placeholders, and we need them to visualise your setting. And your work is oh so visual.
      Already I’m wondering about your characters. About Dan: where is The Mother- I’m sure she must’ve something to do with his sense of entitlement, because it doesn’t seem to come from the father.
      Then about Jamie: it seems that with his choice for Dan he had actually sold himself out a bit (although it might take him the whole of the novel to realise this). It doesn’t seem as if he is marrying for love only. There is a lot lurking behind that innocent exterior… I’ll be watching out for the next instalment!

    • Hi Jan,
      I love your descriptions, always have, they’re lyrical really . So I can’t be objective about them, I certainl enjoyed them. The line ” let the arms of the night enfold him.” was beautiful and I thought that I would like that for myself. And this one, “all its unhappy memories, which seemed to stretch like a never-ending dark river deep into the night. ” These are powerful images and they capture my imagination.
      This sentence was a little confusing in terms of pronouns: “Jamie looked up to him, and in Dan he saw the potential of becoming something akin to the emperor-like Robert, if he so wanted. ” It seems that the he/ him refer to different people and I couldn’t sort it out.
      So, I ‘m with Anne. I’m not ready to give Dan a pass, Jamies still sounds too good for him, but I did like that Dan has conveyed the sincerity of his love forJamie and that Jamie knows that Dan gets joy from his posessions because he has someone to share them with.
      So maybe 2 points for Dan so far.
      Also, the FIL is certainly a little too involved in Jamie’s interests-that seemed strange.
      I love the cliff hanger, I exclaimed out lound when I read it.
      Looking forward to the next!

      PS. I would love to live in a house like Jamie and Dan’s

  • Dream Weaver (scene 3/52) by Ben Hunt


    Kate helped herself to a second cup from the copper coffee pot as Mohamed, the boat hand, walked into the lounge, carrying a carton full of food supplies. She was grateful […]

    • Oooh Ben you’re onto such a winner with this story!! Great descriptions, dialogue and descriptions of the boat and Cpt Pierre nowhere to be seen (except in my mind’s eye…😜) Perfect. Not over exposing him at this stage.
      I just wondered about Kate’s thoughts on Momo being far from his family – her decision is maybe not driven by economic necessity liked him but she might have more thoughts on how it feels (not that she’s lacking in empathy, more that she probably has similar experience)
      One niggle – ‘the last couple are here …’ singular noun = is but some people might hate that!!
      But, I CANNOT fault the storyline…super well done x

      • Thank you so much Deryn, I so appreciate that! I just hope I haven’t overstretched myself with my planned plot, subplots and this many characters…
        I did have that same thought when I wrote Kate’s musings on Momo’s family. I guess I need to make it clear she was thinking of being away from the love of one’s life and perhaps children, rather than parents… I also need to give more of a description of Omar, sorry, I mean Jamar 😉 but I was bang on 1500 words this time so didn’t want to push my luck with readers.
        Niggle noted, thank you so much, although I think we shouldn’t be too hard on Momo as English is not his first language 😉
        Thank you again for the support and encouragement xx

        • Ah true – it was Momo speaking…so grammatical slip accepted!!! Given that I have to keep Laszlo ‘in character’ with broken English I need to get into the groove!!

    • Great story, I’m hooked! I need to peek back at the first 2 scenes to remind myself if Matt has been introduced to us yet. I’m intrigued by this man from her past. It is going to make for an interesting time at sea–the captain and Matt and Kate stuck on a boat together for 10 days, with customers to shield any relationships from. You’ve got a perfect setup! One quick thing, Kate didn’t mention the welcome meeting to the other two couples yet, so I suggest either doing that or make it more apparent that there is more conversation with them “off-stage”. -Becky

      • Just gave myself a refresher on Matt from the first 2 scenes. I don’t have a very long memory. You’re doing great!

        • Thank you so much Becky. I really appreciate your reading and comments, especially given that you took the time to go back (that’s dedication!) 🙂
          Good point about the meeting. I’m finding that this scene needs so much more added to it (for example I didn’t describe Jamar) but I’d reached 1500 already – not a problem I thought I’d have…
          Thank you again for your encouragement! 🤗

    • I like how effortlessly you show us the boat’s interior and Momo is wonderful. A couple of niggly things:I think you mean homey not homely and what if the redhead had wispy hennaed hair? Perfect set up – worrying about the last couple – for bringing Matt onboard. Now the fun begins…

      • Hi Nina, thank you so much for your comments. I had to make a quick dictionary check on this one (English is not my first language so I do still make the odd mistake and I’m grateful when people spot them) but it turns out that in this case ‘homely’ is the British way of describing cosy and comfortable surroundings whilst ‘homey’ is the American version of the same. Which raises an interesting conundrum as to which to choose. My instinct, for now, is to stick with ‘homely’ as Kate is British and so that’s what she would say but I am glad I’ve learnt something new.
        The red hair is also a good point. I originally had bottle-red as my description because I wanted to show she was dying her hair but I was worried bottle red might indicate a wine colour more than a supermarket dye. Am I the only one agonising for hours over things like this, I wonder… 🤯🤣
        Thank you again, I love the descriptions you have crafted in your story so I am grateful for your feedback 🙂

    • Hey Bene – you are nailing this. Good sense of place, Kate’s movement around the boat carries her excitement and energy really well. You are setting up the characters clearly and yet they have plenty of mystery around them too. I like Momo and the relationship there – Kate is clearly going to need an ally when things get bumpy. Well done.

      • Thank you so much, Adam. Now that’s interesting, Momo as the friend character… 🤔 I was planning for Willow to fill that role originally but now that mention it, Momo seems to be vying for that job and the cogs in my brain are whirring…that could work really nicely indeed. Thank you

    • Ah true – it was Momo speaking…so grammatical slip accepted!!! Given that I have to keep Laszlo ‘in character’ with broken English I need to get into the groove!!

    • HI Ben,
      Your descriptions are natural and flow so well. I could feel Kate’s excitement and we the reader get to see that being a gracious host for the sake of business is definitely one of her strengths. You also foreshadowed well-by the time I read that the gentleman was smoking by himself on the deck, I’d guessed it must be Matt-so I was happy to read that I was right. I like your discussion of “homey” vs “homely” of American vs British. I will tell you that in American English, “homely” can mean “unattractive-better off staying at home”- but I understand that you want to stick with British because Kate is British. This was a great line to show us how much Kate was struggling to keep control: ” She took a deep breath, digging her nails into the palms of her fists.”.
      This story is unfolding quite well and I am really enjoying it!

    • Hi Ben, i really like Momo, you have provided a solid character for Kate to perhaps confide in if the going gets rough with the Captain. Three couples probably set up the best scenario for interaction once the boat sails……more would have created too much confusion for the reader. Your first two couples are quite different so i look forward to them playing off against each other.
      What if you open this scene (chapter) showing Kate sipping her coffee but also right away have her reflecting on her intro to the captain and JP’s advice on how to handle that…. and then bring Momo and his back story into the scene.
      Great imagery in Kate climbing up on deck having to squint into the sunshine only to have Matt appear in the glare. You have enticed us well with only very few details of Kate and Matt’s failed relationship…..and now here he is in her face for the next ten days….and having brought with him another/new partner. I can feel the waves hitting the hull already as a rocky journey is about to begin. Good stuff…..write on.

    • Your story continues to intrigue me.
      I’m waiting for someone to fall overboard or die in bed with a knife protruding from a body part….
      But here I am projecting my own type of writing onto your story.
      I love your characters….their personalities shine through.
      I loved the hint you gave, I think it was to Deryn, that Willow and Kate would come to be friends.
      I bet there are secrets to be shared on the horizon.
      Momo is a fun character, I love the reference to Hercule Poirot, I had an immediate picture in my mind of how he looked.
      I’m already looking forward to next weeks episode as the trip begins.
      And who is Matt with?

  • Hospital Property by Preston Nimmons
    Jostling each other at Blikkiesfontein Hospital were the vested interests of public servants, forced into factions where they indoctrinated member constituents against one […]

    • Hi Preston,
      I am enjoying your story.

      One piece of advice, The beginning is an info dump. Try sprinkling this into throughout the piece. I found you lost my interest while I weeded through.

      Happy writing!

    • Hi Preston – I was completely distracted by Dr Impala, Kudu and Eland…sorry. I also think you need to be a bit more explicit about Etienne entering into this process and the prosess itself
      The …(incident with the mis-inserted catheter) led to Etienne’s conviction that someone (his collegue that was overworked? Supervising dr?) must be accountable and so he (took the steps to report) etc
      As they convened …
      The first 2 sentences are v confusing, too.
      I am invested in Etienne’s future but I think it needs a little more objectivity or assumption that we know less than you (which we do!)

      • Thank you for your feedback! It’s super useful. I think you are right, there are too many characters that serve little purpose in this scene. Is naming them all after types of buck too much? I fully agree that we need to see Etienne writing the letter of complaint and then sitting on his hands, deliberating if he should hit send or not. I’m not attached to writing the scenes in chronological order. This project is still in its very early stages, and I’m working on the major moments and seeing what additional scenes I’ll need to get the reader there.

        • Hi Preston – the sequence of the scenes is not a problem per se but if they appear sufficiently sequential but with gaps that’s a problem here =- maybe in your comments say this happens some way ahead or something. And yes, naming the drs after buck is seriously too much! That’s what I meant when I said I was distracted…too implausible and makes them a bit of a joke…See you here with something more ‘playful’ next week!! D

          • I think I have an idea for catching up on these details in a conversation. I’m excited for the next prompt, I feel the story needs a comic turn.

    • While I don’t disagree with Deryn and Maria, I have to say I was rooting for Etienne and felt his pain and frustration. I think I missed the second scene so I will try and get back to it. I like the way you end here with a hint of intrigue to come.

      • Thanks Nsbnina! Im happy Etienne’s pain and frustration come across. I’m practicing cliff-hangers and want to hint at a sinister alliance between members of the permanent staff. This next prompt calls for a more comic scene, and I’d like to balance the heavy, difficult emotions of this and the previous scene with something more hopeful and laugh-out-loud.

    • Hi Preston,
      I’m confused. Who is Etienne? In Part 1 our MC was Preston. Has his name changed?

      I’m not sure the switch between 1st and 3rd person from part 2 and part 3 is working. To be completely in the MC’s head 1st person is best. But if you want to tell the story from other people’s POV through out as well then 3rd is best.

      The info dump at the beginning could be done as part of a conversation between the MC and another doc who is on the MC’s side but trying to calm him down. Yes, the MC would know this: conscripted into a year of mandatory state service, suspended in a career netherworld following his internship. One year in the rural hospital was all the Council required before he was free to pursue a career in cardiology, his intended specialty afterwards. All medical students know this signing up. They complete their undergraduate studies, which costs about 6 years and a sum of debt, then apply for internship, a structured 2-year programme at any council-certified hospital. These are usually in the city, attached to a University, where they work under supervision honing their skill.
      But non-medical readers wouldn’t and would be grateful. And in a conversation you could build the MC’s frustration and even have him say, “I know this!” To which the other doc could reply something like, “But what you don’t know is that as a Community Service Medical Officer with no real investment in being here, you are loathed by the rest of us who are passionate about working and saving lives in Blikkiesfontein. So, just work out your year, keep you nose clean and don’t be a hero. ”

      Don’t forget – figures are written out. Two not 2

      I think the line: “Don’t bother saying anything.” The nurse had warned him after the ‘procedure’ was over. “He’s always been like that, and he’ll just come after you. Keep your head down and do your work, doctor.” should be in the actual scene of the procedure as it’s good foreshadowing. Here, it’s lost as we’re already in the ‘coming after’.

      I agree that naming the cast after antelope is a bit much.

      My main take on this scene is that it’s too much. The hearing should involve a lot more. Yes, I know it sounds like I’m contradicting myself. Bear with me. Much of the conversation in this part could be between our MC and the person to whom he’s reporting the incident. Then other incidents could happen which build the tension especially between the MC and the doc, and the MC could make another complaint, this time a really serious allegation, perhaps the old man they’ve just done the procedure on dies while the MC and the doc are having a slanging match while trying to save the patient’s life. Then the hearing could be held where the doc blames the MC for the patient’s death.

      I found the MC’s gazing around the room a bit odd. He’s been hauled into a hearing, he’d be completely focused on what was being said so he didn’t miss anything, as he will have to defend himself against anything the doc says. You could have him arrive before everyone else and then have him looking around wondering if his life’s ambition was about to die here on the worn and faded linoleum and describe the room then perhaps?

      I laughed at this line: As he rounded the corner of the staircase, Dr Kudu caught his eye, receding suspiciously into Dr Eland’s office.
      I know what you meant but it read as Dr Kudu saw the physical disembodied eye of our MC as it (the eye) went into the office.

      These are just thoughts, ignore them if they don’t help or serve your overall plan. I’m invested in your story and am looking forward to seeing what happens.

      • Hey Preston,
        Just wanted to say that if I’ve overstepped the mark here, I apologize. I can get carried away. And I certainly don’t mean to be dictating how you should write your story.

      • Thanks for the comment. It’s super useful having critical feedback like this. Please don’t stop. I think I have some work to do. Yes, I’m trying to convey that the cosmos aren’t interested in being where they are, but they’re also more invested in the quality of care than the permanent staff, who are no longer passionate nor interested in saving lives. The conversation is an excellent device, I’ll be using that in the next scene. I’m glad you’ve picked up on some important plot points regarding the hearing – it was completely inadequate and Etienne was exhibiting strange behavior. Yes, subsequent drafts will see some refinement and development of the observations to make it clearer for the reader. I am completely taken by the idea of Dr Kudu stealing Etienne’s eyes, there’s some wonderful imagery there.

  • Load More


Profile picture of Seyi


Active 10 hours, 47 minutes ago
Short Story balance: 0
Poetry balance: 0
WTC balance: 0
52 Scenes balance: 0