New to WRiTE CLUB? Great...here's how it works. Below are two 500 word anonymous (aside from the pen name) writing samples, read them both and then in the comments below tell us which one you prefer. Leave a simple critique as well, if you can. But in order for your vote to count in the final talley you must register as a WRiTE CLUB member on the linky list HERE. Simple as that! If you want to read the full rules, which includes how you can win a $75 Amazon gift certificate, you can do that there as well.
In previous rounds a good litmus test for deciding victory is whether or not a writing sample leaves the reader wanting more. If nothing else, this should illustrate how we must each strive to adhere to this guiding principle in every phase of our work. We've seen some awesome 500 word snippets, but what about the next 500 words...and the 500 after that? We as writers cannot afford to coast, or compose filler to simply serve as a bridge to the next major plot point, character interaction, or dramatic encounter. Our standards must be set higher than that and the luxury of complacency a foreign concept. A tough task indeed, but one we all embrace willingly.
Are you ready for an awesome mid-week battle?
Here are this bouts's randomly selected WRiTER's.
Coming to the ring, weighing in at 500 words and representing the YA Fantasy genre, please welcome to the ring……..Dirch McGurkin.
“Your mother sent me letters, sometimes,” Marcello said. “Though none in recent years.”
I sat up in my chair. “My mother? Bianca Saldana?”
He snorted. “Unless you have another mother I don’t know of, then yes.”
This . . . this flipped my world upside down. Why would my mother send letters to Marcello Saldana, who we were told never to speak of? Who had brought shame to the Family. “Why would she do that?”
“We were friends. I was glad when she married Dante and joined our Family. I had great love for Bianca and my brother. It opened a wound I thought long healed to hear of their deaths at the hands of the Da Vias.”
“Then why do you refuse to help me?” I leaned forward. “If you give me the location of the Da Via safe home, I will make them pay for what they’ve done to our Family. They will never forget the Saldanas!”
“At the cost of your own life, you mean?”
I leaned back. “If need be. I’m not afraid to die.”
He laughed. “No, of course you’re not! You’re, what, seventeen? And a disciple of Safraella. I’m sure you can’t wait for Her cold embrace.”
“You step awfully close to blasphemy. I am Her disciple, and She will offer me a fast resurrection.”
“And then what?”
“And then what? You die and are reborn and what of the people you leave behind?”
“There are no people. Everyone’s dead.”
Marcello widened his eyes in a way that said he didn’t believe me. He pointedly looked to the room where Les slept.
Les, really? Perhaps he’d be sad, but surely he’d get over it. I couldn’t mean that much to him. Right?
“Dying is the easy part.” Marcello got to his feet. “But what you grant for those you leave behind is much more difficult.” He glanced over his shoulder again to Les. “I fear you will destroy him.”
“He is too kind to you. He is too kind because he thinks if he is kind, people will like him. And if they like him, they won’t leave. But that’s not the way of things. You are like a flame and he is a moth, drawn to you, unaware if he gets too close you will burn him up.”
He’d hit dangerously close to my own thoughts regarding Les. But I wasn’t the only one to blame. “And you? You’ve given him a sword and taught him just enough to be dangerous with it, but not enough to know when to back away.”
“Things were fine before you arrived,” he countered.
“Were they? You never fought about it until I found my way here? You never threatened to stop training him, never held that over his head?”
Marcello was silent. He couldn’t deny it.
I leaned back in the chair and sighed. “Truly, Uncle, we’re both at fault.” He nodded slowly. “We’re Saldanas. Sooner or later we destroy the ones we love.”
And entering the other corner, weighing in at 499 words and representing the YA Paranormal genre, here is ……..Word Huntress.
I hate California. Too many people. Too much heat. Too much sun.
I prefer night, if I have a choice.
Then again, I hate making choices. Always make the wrong one. If I’m taking a multiple choice test and narrow a question to two answers, I always pick the wrong one. Every freakin’ time. It’s a curse.
Not that I want to think about curses right now.
I swear the AC’s not working. My pits are getting wetter every second. At least the bell rings, signaling the end of torment until Monday, but it also means I’m stuck in a hallway crammed with more kids than a fire fighter would be happy with.
Don’t want to think about fire right now either.
By the time the crowd herds me outside, I almost want to go back inside the hated stone building. The blast of heat pounds into me, and I feel like I’m about to burst into a flame.
A freshman or sophomore nearby is opening a water bottle. I snatch it out of his hands, pour half the contents in my mouth, then dump the rest onto my head. His jaw drops, but he says nothing as I toss it back to him. He fumbles and drops it onto the ground.
Jerk move, I know. Don’t care what people think of me. Stopped caring long ago. Not since…
I start to walk away but a beefy hand clamps onto my shoulder. Rolling my eyes upward, I see Jake Gallagher, some kinda hotshot on the football team. Thinks he’s all that. I think he smells worse than a bird carcass that’s been in the desert for a month. And he’s has more zits than Swiss cheese has holes.
“How’s it going, Isolde?”
I ground my teeth. Ever since our English teacher assigned us to read Tristan and Isolde, Jake thinks it’s hilarious to call me Isolde. Hate my name enough as it is, don’t need this oversized greasy slob giving me more reason to.
Normally I ignore him and walk away. Once he cracks his joke and his friends laugh, he lets me go. But today, his friends aren’t around. And for some reason, maybe the heat or maybe I’m just sick of taking his crap, I decide enough’s enough.
“The name’s Tristan.”
“Oh, excuse me. Trisha.”
“Now that’s a laugher. Bet it took you all night to come up with that one.”
His beady eyes look even smaller as the puffiness around them grows larger and redder. “What. Did. You. Say. To. Me?”
By now, a few classmates who haven’t boarded buses yet or left the school grounds to their fancy cars their rich daddies bought them or—gasp—walked home like I do are forming a circle around us. A bead of sweat congeals with others as it trickles down my back and becomes a wad. I wipe it away and flick the wetness off my hand. Toward Jake.
He lets out a massive roar.
*shakes head* Another tough choice for you. Before you leave your vote for the winner of round 4, make sure you’ve pre-registered to vote here. Any sort of critique you would like to offer are most appreciated as well. Please tell everyone you know about WRiTE CLUB and get your friends to make a selection as well. The voting will remain open until noon next Wednesday.
Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!