• 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!!!

  • 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 Rachel!

    So much to read. Promise this week I’m gonna get to yours. I hope we didn’t bite off more than we can chew, 52 scenes, Yikes!

    Thanks for reading

  • 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 🙂

  • Oh, my goodness! I believe I held my breath as I read the entire piece at record speed. I was afraid that if I read slowly, I might miss something.

    The sentence below is absolute poetry:
    “There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.”

    Funny, my advice might sound lik…[Read more]

  • Thanks for the amazing feedback!

  • The two sentences below are backward.

    The hazy warmth of the coming day gathered and it was a pity they would be trapped inside the airless classrooms but, it was time for the children to start the school day.

    It was time for the children to start the school day. The hazy warmth of the day gathered. It was a pity they would be…[Read more]

  • This was jam-packed with action. I enjoyed it!

    The paragraph below was written well. The only thing I have to offer is in the last sentence:
    reflecting back at her from the dresser mirror.
    The word back can be omitted.

    Skirting the tiny kitchen and bathroom, she stumbles as she reaches the bed. She almost shrieks at the sudden…[Read more]

  • lol! Yea, Pauls a stickler on adverbs.

  • Hi Adam,
    I tell ya for a rough draft, this is fantastic. I’m going to try and stick with your piece all the way through. I’m curious as to what is next to come.

    Kangaroo meat, yikes! I suppose that is a regular in some parts. I can’t imagine it lol.

    My only suggestion to you is the piece is riddled with adverbs. Easily, unusually,…[Read more]

  • Scene two by Maria Delaney


    The island breeze that washes off the atlantic tickles Bijou’s skin. She finds Calico on the deck of the Sinful Abby hauling boxes of food below deck. His weather worn skin drips w […]

    • I like the interaction between Bijou and Calico, she obviously wants more from him then he seems willing to give her. I’m trying to place the timing, is this a continuation of where you left off in scene 1, or did we go back in time?
      I seem to recall from your December short story that there was a tangle between Bijou and Nala, and here we see Calico’s interest in Nala driving Bijou to a bout of jealousy. Will be interesting to see how this unfolds.
      Am looking forward to reading the story as it develops.

    • Hi Maria, you’ve an epic story and an imagination to boot. I’m not a follower of the genre but do dip into as many stories as I can to see whose doing what, and how. Just a small comment:, I wasn’t sure of the time frame of this one becuase of Bijou’s archaic way of speaking. ‘ I have work to do my love. There is no time for what you seek.’ This would have contractions in modern speech, so I guess its not now. Sorry if i have missed a beat here. Swashbuckling armies of women taking over…love it. You’ve switched tense a few times, from present to past. It’s tricky but you might want to check this later on in your final draft. Great stuff. Thank.

    • It took me a minute to get my footing here. Hard to read a few scenes a week and remember what’s what. But when I knew where I was – or more to the point who Bijou was – I enjoyed the coy banter between these two characters. Quite a dramatic change from the first scene, which is fun.

    • Hi Maria! You’ve done well with the dialogue – I can feel the tension between Bijou, who wants to work, and Calico, who wants to spend time with him! I felt the scene needed greater description of the setting. It seems we’re on a ship in harbour taking on supplies – I’d imagine the ship rocking gently, squeezing rhythmically against the fenders. Perhaps there’s the sound of gulls overhead and the distant shouting of men working other ships in the harbour. I’ve noticed you described Bijou’s eyes in two different ways – ‘coffee eyes’ and ‘sea gull grey.’ I wondered why there are only women at Chamomile’s on Sunday. I’ve jumped into this scene without having read any preceding scenes, but hopefully my comment will help! Thanks for sharing! This was an interesting read, I enjoyed the nautical theme!

  • Michael Corvo and Profile picture of maria delaneymaria delaney are now friends 1 week ago

  • The sentence below needs some restructuring. Eyes always come in pairs. You don’t have to tell your reader that. You could tighten up the sentence, making it swifter for your readers. Also, amethysts is a light green, you may want to change that your description.

     His gaze was met by a pair of dark eyes that gleamed like amethysts in the warm…[Read more]

  • I like the wonder you put in the piece. It makes me want to read on. I suppose that is what you would want in a novel. I think this genre will resinate in a lot of readers.

    If I were to suggest anything, it would be a little less description of the area. See if you can tighten that up a bit.

    Otherwise, as Deryn said, you’re off to a brilliant start.

  • Hi Peggy,
    Happy New Year! We must be gluttons for punishment lol. Well, here we are and it must be for a reason.

    I read your story. It isn’t as tight as I’m used to from you. I get the idea that these aren’t supposed to be perfect pieces like on 12 short stories. If so, my advice is during the re-write to tighten up. There are lots of she, and,…[Read more]

  • Whatever this story is about, you need to bring it forth sooner to keep your reader engaged in the story. I have no idea what you want to tell me.

    Tighten up your piece. I gave an example below.

    She had to flinch back, blinkingly, from suddenly seeing his face up close and so much in hers…

    In the above sentence you say the same thing twice. Y…[Read more]

  • Okay, thanks for stopping by, and Happy New Year.

  • scene one of fifty-two by maria delaney
    “What do you see, Sizzle?”
             “Shut the fuck up, Luca.” With fingertips pressing against both temples, and eyes squeezed shut, vivid images of blood thirsty fangs, […]

    • Deryn replied 2 weeks ago

      Hi Maria
      Just wanted to wish you good luck with the 52W challenge. I am going to dip in to as many stories as possible and then try and follow a few. This is not at all a genre I feel that I can comment on, so will leave it to sci fi/time travellers/dystopian/GoT readers, but am sure it’s going to be a cracking tale!! All the best Deryn

    • Happy New Year, Maria! I see you’re off to a good start, and I’m glad you chose this story as your novel for 52scenes. I enjoyed the short story versions and think you have a great premise, especially as it’s set in the present time. It’ll be interesting to see how the women cope with the differences brought about by the passage of time.

      As Deryn said, it’s not my typical genre that I would read in novels, but you’ve got all the elements of a swashbuckling fantasy in the works. It reminds me of the Pirates of the Caribbean, a cross between comedy/drama/fantasy.

      I’ll be sure to check in with you throughout out the year. Good luck and happy writing.

    • Ooo! Urban fantasy. Right up my alley. I like the world you’re building here, bringing ancient magic into the modern world. Something about this reminds me of the Marla Mason series though I’ve only read one short story in the setting. A few comments:

      Does Luca actually refer to his men as the Misogynist army? That’s not usually a name used out of pride, and Sizzle does seem critical of his king’s actions. Just wondering who calls it that.

      I think it would be more powerful to know who Nala and Bijou are from the get-go. Also, I understand how Sizzle feels about all of this (anger, apprehension, resentment) but I can’t get a bead on Luca. Even though he thinks about the girls needing clothes, he seems strangely indifferent, especially about what will happen to him.

      Here’s a wacky thought: What if there was practically NO backstory in this first scene? All we know is that the king’s army is fighting these women who have been turned to snakes and that his daughter and Sizzle’s wife is among them. Maybe a few mentions from Sizzle about opposing this idea 750 years ago just to intrigue the reader. THEN you can slowly unravel the backstory of the next few scenes and chapters.

      Looking forward to seeing where your story is going to take me next!

    • This genre is a stretch for me so I had to read your story twice.the excitement is palpable. The writing is choppy and maybe that adds to the drama. You have packed a lot in setting the story up. Great visuals.

    • Dearest Maria. Damn, girl. You’ve got an imagination on you! Like some other commenters, this isn’t usually a genre I seek out, but these are characters I want to know more about, and that’s the hallmark of a great storyteller! There is a lot going on in this scene, so I also had to reread to keep track. Now I want to know what happens next! Always your fan – Rachel

      • Hi Rachel!

        So much to read. Promise this week I’m gonna get to yours. I hope we didn’t bite off more than we can chew, 52 scenes, Yikes!

        Thanks for reading

    • You are off to a great start. I also had to reread for clarification. I have questions that I hope will be answered in the future scenes? Do these characters not age? They talk of killing each other, but if they have lived for 750 years plus, then maybe they would be pretty hard to kill. Is the daughter going to still be a child when she comes out of the water? I noticed a couple of typos … “pasted down to him”, “would have been release into the air” and “moved to (too) fast”. minor easy fixes. I don’t usually read magic and sorcery, but am intrigued by your story, so I will give it a go. Thanks for sharing your piece, Sharon

    • Hi Maria,
      I remember reading about Nala and Bijou and how much I enjoyed that story, I’m intrigued you decided to bring it to modern times and I love the idea of serpents living underwater around Manhattan. You change points of view and we get to see the inside of Sizzle’s mind and Luca’s mind which is a little jarring but I grew used to it. You may want to consider that they get their own scenes. I saw some little typos like this one, “What kind of father by their own volition cast their flesh and blood to the depths of the sea…” It’s easier to read if it is “”casts…his flesh” unless you have a special reason for keeping it that way. Also this one: “With time ticking, clever and patience were hard to maintain.”
      It’s always exciting to be ushered into a magical world where you learn the rules about who has what power and what the limits are.
      You did a good job with that and told us why each character needs the other.
      I really enjoyed this story.

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