This is episode 6. I hope you’re staying home and staying safe. I’ve seen some really worrying things happening in my community this week, so please don’t take any chances, and don’t go out unless you absolutely have to.
I am, once again, running low on submissions. I really want to keep making this podcast, so please, please, please send me your opening paragraphs! I am also looking for opening sentences to do a first lines special.
And because I apparently have no sense of moderation or self-preservation, I’m going to be doing a 24 hour poetrython, which I’m calling The Night of Rhyming Dangerously, this coming Saturday (that’s the 4th of April 2020, for you time-travellers). I’d really appreciate it if you could throw a word or a prompt my way. I’ll put the details for that on Twitter and in the show notes.
And now, on with the show!
As ever, I’m not an expert, my intention is to be positive and helpful, and my opinions do not reflect the authors’ worth as people or as writers. Please ensure adequate sodium intake with this podcast.
THE FRUITFUL HEIST
by Robyn Sarty
The apple split with a satisfying crunch, filling her mouth with delicious fruit and covering her chin in sweet juice. Niamh scrambled to find a napkin to wipe her face while keeping the file in her hand safe. She slurped up the juice running down her other hand and took another bit. Knocking on the door to her boss’s office, she checked that the file was still clean. After all her hard work, she didn’t want to ruin it with sticky apple bits.
This is really interesting. There’s a lot of sensory information in this that I quite like, but there are a couple of little things that are bothering me a bit.
While this paragraph isn’t particularly adjective-heavy on the whole, there are three adjectives just in the first sentence. Satisfying crunch, delicious fruit, and sweet juice. There’s nothing wrong with adjectives, but too many of them, too close together, and you run the risk of veering purple.
Then there’s a bit of a blocking issue – I’m wondering how Niamh manages to hold a file, eat an apple, and use a napkin at the same time. Maybe she’s just more dexterous than I am.
And lastly: She slurped up the juice running down her other hand and took another bit. I’m not sure whether this is a typo. Bit isn’t wrong, but I would definitely be more inclined to say bite here, and it did kind of trip me up while I was recording.
I really like this paragraph. I’m just being nit-picky, because it’s my show and I can!
Thanks Robyn for sending that in, and please let me know when I can read the rest of it!
RENEWAL OF SPIRIT
by Marlene Simonette
Corinna felt the Taide lessen, and begin to harden. All around her, flickers and bands of light dimmed. The unguided symphony of music, each player seeking to turn the Taide—the power that surged through the world, controlled by music—to his or her own purpose, faded. Rivers of magma, and the chaotic Smalaidh that guided them, slowly grew narrower, vanishing into crevices of the earth. The Turning, the sundering of the world, was nearly over.
First, let me apologize for completely butchering those names. Marlene very kindly sent me a pronunciation guide and I still feel like I got it all wrong, so sorry about that.
Then… This is beautifully written. There’s a kind of magic in this paragraph and I think it fits the story. I’m not entirely sure what’s happening, but it seems like some sort of ritual, something magical.
But there’s a lot of Capitalized Words in a very short space here. Corinna is obviously capitalized, as it should be. But then the Taide, Smalaidh, and the Turning are all capitalized as well. I feel like that’s a lot of Important Things (capital I, capital T) being introduced in a very small space.
The sentence explaining the Taide is also very complicated and I had to re-record a couple of times. I’m still not entirely satisfied that I was able to make the meaning clear.
That said, I really like this and would love to know what the rest of the story is.
Thanks for your submission, Marlene!
Music: Continue Life by Kevin MacLeod
Sound effects from freeSFX [https://www.freesfx.co.uk/]