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After The Madness Workshop # B-5

Wednesday, 28 March 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Welcome to day three 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-5 Melanie Stanford

My relationship with Eric Wentworth began and ended with a song. B’s notes: I like this first line. Great hook! The song it started with was classic, beautiful, serene. A song that conjured up images of ballerinas floating across a stage, or ladies in large hoop dresses dancing with men wearing fancy coats and neckties. A song you could fall in love to.

Our end—well that song was unfinished. Just notes, a few phrases, nothing complete. It was an experiment, an attempt. A beginning—in its own way. But it was our end. Or at least it was the soundtrack to our end.

Luckily, I never had to hear that song in its entirety. Maybe he gave up on it, maybe it was jinxed. Whatever the reason, I was glad I didn’t have to hear it blaring from the radio, our demise turned into a number one hit.

That didn’t stop me from hearing him though. Soon he was everywhere. I couldn’t avoid him. Sometimes I wanted to, wished I could, wished his voice would stop haunting me. But sometimes I listened, clutching my memories to my chest as if they were the most precious thing I owned.

It was almost a relief, when life got in the way. Then I didn’t have to make the choice. But hardly a day went by that I didn’t think of him, or hear him, at least once. 

B’s notes: This is a great opening. Love this! But why not just say right out that Eric Wentworth is a famous singer and he wrote songs for her before he became famous? This is just my thought, and some one else may feel differently. 

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.


Filed: Misc, Workshops

  • I like that it doesn’t say right away that he’s famous–it could be any boy, any song on the radio, something we all relate to. But once we realize she was entangled with “a number one hit” maker, it steps up the game. Good job!

  • Brenda Drake says:

    See, I wasn’t sure. At first read I was confused and read again and got it. I just don’t want any agents to have the same hiccup I had. But reading is very subjective and everyone picks up different things when they read.

  • Nice hook, good build up. Again, I agree with ARJ’s comment. One quibble, I would like to see his name in place of some of the he/him in the 3rd/4th pargraph.

    Buona fortuna!

  • I love your first line! It immediately drew me in. But your descriptions of the songs that began and ended the relationship were kind of rambly, and you lost me by the end of paragraph two.

    You provide a lot of great detail, but it feels like you’re trying to skirt around the questions, instead of simply telling us what’s going on. Why was the 1st song a beginning? Why was the 2nd, unfinished song, an ending?

    I was actually kind of disappointed, after that first line, to learn that the beginning and ending weren’t the same song, but that’s probably just me.

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