After The Madness Workshop # B-13

 

Welcome to day seven of After the Madness Workshop! Shelley Watters, Erica Chapman, the writers at YAtopia, and myself will critique the first 250 words of  two brave writers’ manuscripts per day for the next seven to eight days. There are four blogs joining in to offer up suggestions. Click on my partners’ sites in my sidebar to view the other critiques.

And next up is …

B-13 Hazel tree
Every muscle in my body tensed as I felt the world tilt sideways. I closed my eyes. In my mind, the bike slid out from underneath us. I imagined my body sliding across the ground leaving behind a red smear of flesh.  I tightened my grip around Teke. Beneath us the motorcycle revved and straightened. I swallowed a bit of acid in the back of my throat.
“This is the stupidest thing I have ever done,” I muttered.
In front of me, Teke laughed.
I tried to loosen my grip. My hands were wet with sweat. I took a deep breath. I read somewhere that it was supposed to calm you down. It just made me realize how much I wanted to cry.
I sniffed a few times and realized we were climbing up some hill. How long before I could get off this thing?
Every day I tried something to help break me away from this constant fear of everything. Every time I failed, but this was the worst by far. It was worse than that time I jumped off the cliff into Saguaro Lake. It was worse than trying out for that play. How did my mom do it?
Goose bumps spread across my arms and down my legs. It was definitely getting colder. “How much further?” I asked.
“Almost there.”
I knew he was lying. I don’t know why. I didn’t even know if I was right about that feeling.
We crested the hill and everything was replaced by terror. 
B’s notes: I really liked that first line, and this is written well, but the rest didn’t seem immediate enough to me. With having her imagine what’s happening to her in her mind, you’re pulling your reader away from the action. The narrative has no urgency for what she’s going through. There’s too much explaining going on. This could be an excellent dramatic event if you sharpened it up and put us into the action with her.
———————–
Example:  
‘Every muscle in my body tensed as I felt the world tilt sideways. I closed my eyes tight. The bike slid out from underneath us, and I quickly tightened my grip around Teke. Beneath us the motorcycle revved and straightened. I swallowed a bit of acid in the back of my throat.
“This is the stupidest thing I have ever done,” I yelled.
Teke laughed.
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I hope this helps!

Remember this is subjective and others’ may feel differently. So I’ll now pass it on to the readers to critique. Please leave your comments, and remember the rules of critiquing … be nice, which I’m sure you all will be, but I have to say it … you know.

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2 comments to After The Madness Workshop # B-13

  • The “Every day. . .” paragraph is where you lost me–it seemed rather reflective if she’s really this scared. Maybe that would work better once she’s able to get off the bike–I assume she’ll be shaky and will need to sit down or something. Otherwise, I liked it and it made me curious.

  • I also lost momentum once the writing became more reflective. I’d prefer to see her acting afraid or hesitant, or saying something to her friend, rather than thinking about it.

    If she’s riding a bike with friends, I think she’s not entirely likely to think much beyond pedaling and obstacles, and avoiding cracks or something while talking, so maybe that’s why the reflective bits pull me out.

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