Sunday Snippet Critique Blog Hop


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It’s that time again, chickadees!  In this hop, participants post 250 words of their work in progress to be critiqued.  Then everyone hops around to critique others.   Want to get involved?  Click here for the rules, and leave a comment to have your name added to the list.

Here is my addition to the hop this week.   This is the beginning of Chapter 3 of my novel, In the Shadow of the Dragon King.  We are back with Eric in this piece.  Feel free to hack away.

Chickens squawked and scattered.  Grain wagons carrying fresh apples creaked over the cobblestones as servants hurried toward the kitchens with baskets of freshly picked berries and vegetables.  Chaotic shouts from the courtyard carried to Eric’s ears as dozens of domestics scrambled to prepare the courtyard for King Gildore’s and Queen Mysterie’s arrival.

Eric smiled at the thought of Their Majesties return.  They’d been away for a year, scouting for educators for the new university, set to break ground in a few months.  Word had it they accomplished their mission, and some of the sharpest minds from lands far away would arrive upon its completion.

Hirthinians were ecstatic, for the addition of a major learning center meant growth and prosperity to the kingdom.  Already, children and adults alike were learning to read and write in schools erected and staffed by the royal family.  A university would open opportunities, not only for Hirthinians, but to neighboring realms as well.  Others would arrive from lands far away. Trade and commerce would expand.  The small royal town of Hammershire would grow into a major city, a universal hub of activity. The dream for everyone to live with wealth, honor and grace in a land of opportunity and hope was one of many reasons the residents of the kingdom adored their king and queen.  It is also why they felt compelled to descend upon Gyllen castle and Hammershire to welcome them home.

Eric’s insides flitted with excitement, eager to hear about the royal couple’s adventures and plans.  His excitement was short-lived, however, when Sestian barged through the open barn doors, panting, his hair a mess and his clothes askew.

“Eric, you’ve got to ask Trog for permission to attend festival.”

334drRageG

Click on over to these great writers to check out and critique what they’ve posted!

Note:  Those who have not been participating have been removed.

http://mermaidssinging.wordpress.com/

http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/

http://ileandrayoung.com

http://jennifermeaton.com/

http://richardleonard.wordpress.com

http://jordannaeast.com

http://itsjennythewren.wordpress.com/

http://wehrismypen.wordpress.com

http://jlroeder.wordpress.com

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/

http://ashortaday.wordpress.com

http://mandyevebarnett.com/

http://www.michellezieglerauthor.com

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27 thoughts on “Sunday Snippet Critique Blog Hop

  1. Oh! I get goosebumps everytime I read a snippet of Dragon King!

    A few things that I don’t think have been mentioned above. I don’t care for “Chaotic shouts from the courtyard carried to Eric’s ears” If folws readdly well before this. I don’t like “carried to his ears” Not sure why.

    Also, the paragraph about the university I think is a bit too long. This would be fine if it is a big part of the stroy, but I don’t believe it is. I think you spend a little too much time on it (Although it is written wonderfully)

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    1. Yeah, I don’t like the chaotic shouts either. I’ve removed them since this posting. I’m also cutting back on the university para because it doesn’t have anything to do with the story except to set a tone: peace, prosperity, something the kingdom has to look forward to as well as to show the king and queen’s generosity and love for their people.

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  2. Well I got so busy that it is now Tuesday and I did not get here in time to see the low hanging fruit. I feel your story has a strong pull as I was interested solely after reading the 250 words you shared. There is a palpable excitement shared through Eric that the Kind and Queen have grand plans for their kingdom. I like your style.

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  3. So many great details! I like the information about the university and the opportunities it will bring, but my niggling mind asked if the king and queen don’t have ministers or some other underlings to do their recruiting for them? Great segue though with Sestian barging in!

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    1. They usually do, but this is something they are both passionate about, so they want to hand-pick the teachers themselves. There is a very brief explanation later in the chapter where Gildore explains this to Eric (and the reader).

      BTW, thanks for using the word ‘segue’. I haven’t heard that word or seen it written in a long time. It’s such a great word, too.

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  4. I like the activity and busyness of this scene. The sqawking chickens are loud and clear. Great start.
    “They’d been away for a year, scouting for educators for the new university, set to break ground in a few months.” (I wonder if this might be rewritten. This sounds like the educators are set to break ground).
    Regarding the third paragraph. What a wonderful future awaits the Hirthinians, but is this a shortcut of telling vs. showing later?

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    1. “Regarding the third paragraph. What a wonderful future awaits the Hirthinians, but is this a shortcut of telling vs. showing later” – I wondered that too, and I’d like to cut this down a bit, but the way the series pans out, this future may remain just a dream (I don’t want to give any spoilers away). I’d like to keep the essence of the dream, the feeling of prosperity but get rid of the “tell”, too. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  5. You’ve got “fresh apples” and “freshly picked berries” in the same sentence. Maybe the apples can be ripe, or something? I like the sense of last-minute urgency from the description, though.
    I really like this academically-minded kingdom. It sounds like someplace I’d like to live.
    There’s a lot going on in this sentence:
    “The dream for everyone to live with wealth, honor and grace in a land of opportunity and hope was one of many reasons the residents of the kingdom adored their king and queen.”
    so when you follow it with a sentence that begins “It is,” you lost me a little. Does the ‘it’ refer to the adoration or the dream?
    “His excitement was short-lived, however, when Sestian barged through the open barn doors, panting, his hair a mess and his clothes askew.”
    You have two different ‘his’ in this sentence–Eric and Sestian.
    From his rumpled state, I sense Sestian is up to no good again! 🙂

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    1. Yes, I know I need to work on this. It didn’t flow right to me, but I’m struggling with finding the right structure. Any suggestions?

      And yes, Sestian is up to no good again.

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      1. You mean the “His excitement was[..]” sentence’s structure? Couldn’t you just cut into two and remove the word ‘when?”
        “His excitement was short-lived, however. Sestian barged through the open barn doors, panting, his hair a mess and his clothes askew.”
        What do you think, does that work?

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  6. Great start. I love the descriptions of the bustling residents. In the third paragraph, it seems a little drawn out with description-unless this has a role for setting up other scenes? That’s just my thoughts though. Your knack for description really shows well throughout.

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    1. I am the description queen and I really need to cut back on some of it as it does take the reader out of the story for a bit, or at least, it makes them skim. Not good. 🙂 Thank you for your help. It is very much appreciated.

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  7. Hi Jenny, I really enjoyed reading this excerpt, sounds interesting …

    In the second paragraph, you’ve used, “from lands far away” – and have used the exact same phrase in the third paragraph as well. I’m wondering if one of those might be worded differently, since they are so close together? Also, would Eric’s insides have “flitted” – or perhaps, “fluttered”?

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