Never Too Old For Y.A. & N.A. Books discussion

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message 1: by Eva (new)

Eva King Hi! I wrote a short story for a competition,I never won and I would like some feed to I can improve my writing. Thanks.

message 2: by Eva (new)

Eva King Eva wrote: "Hi! I wrote a short story for a competition,I never won and I would like some feed to I can improve my writing. Thanks."

Ps, the only reason I put its for over 18's is becuase it has some swear words.

message 3: by Eva (new)

Eva King Valerie wrote: "Eva wrote: "Eva wrote: "Hi! I wrote a short story for a competition,I never won and I would like some feed to I can improve my writing. Thanks."

Ps, th..."

Thank you! It was meant to be funny. I have trouble with the tense all the time!
Spanish is my first language but i will kee working in my grammar. Thanks

message 4: by Eva (last edited Jun 01, 2012 12:42PM) (new)

Eva King Valerie wrote: "Eva wrote: "Valerie wrote: "Eva wrote: "Eva wrote: "Hi! I wrote a short story for a competition,I never won and I would like some feed to I can improve my writing. Thanks."

Have you done classes on creative writing?
I love reading and writing but that tense just drives me mental!

message 5: by Emily (new)

Emily | 275 comments I've just started the other day on this, so I'm not sure what to say. There is some language but perfectly YA material. I just want to know what others think of it...

message 6: by Nina (new)

Nina Navarre | 90 comments

Here is my entry. Would love feed back as it is the prologue to my novel that I will be printing soon and I'd love some idea of how people will react to it. I'm happy to submit a few more chapters if anyone is interested in having a read. Thanks and I look forward to reading your submissions...Stay cool!

message 7: by Nina (new)

Nina Navarre | 90 comments Valerie wrote: "

So here are 3 chapters of my WIP. They are full size chapters so I understand if people only read one chapter.

I'll leave it up for a couple weeks, bu..."

Hi Valerie. I liked your story and the air of mystery that makes you want to keep reading. I will read the other chapters soon, thanks

message 8: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Jr. (anthonymbriggsjr) | 42 comments Nina: An interesting start, raises a lot of questions in my mind. Until the mention of a car I thought it was medieval due to the cover, castle, banquet and ball scene. Given that Lily killed two men without hesitation or remorse, I wonder who she is, whether she has received some training, why was she held captive by this powerful, apparently criminal, business man. From their interactions it sounds like they've fought often in the past due to his possessive nature, but only now with her brother's life on the line did she go over the edge and start killing. Riding bareback downhill through a forest at night sounds like a difficult and dangerous feat. At this point, considering all that she managed to do in that chapter, I'm definitely expecting her to be a highly trained assassin figure, perhaps she was held captive on purpose as part of a mission. The only problem with that theory is the fact that she sounded resigned to her fate of captivity, as if she had given up on escape.

You have a high action first chapter with lots of promises made to the reader in it. If the book were in front of me I would read on to see what happened next and how those promises are fulfilled. Hope these comments are useful, good luck!

message 9: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Jr. (anthonymbriggsjr) | 42 comments Hi all, here is the first chapter to my book "Nick the Lolt". I welcome any and all feedback, I have thick skin, say anything. More chapters are online at


Young Gaeton had seen sixteen winters so far. He fell to the grassy ground beside his team’s two canvases, crossed his legs and tossed his hands forward like a jaguar relaxing before the hunt. No butterflies were in his stomach, but something growled in there. Maybe there were lizards that ate the butterflies and were crawling around hungry for more.

Both Gaeton and his best friend Path had reached the competitor’s level focus. They dreamed of one thing. If in their dreams they grew tired of chasing it and fell asleep, they dreamed about it some more: winning the Spruce Tournament.

Only for kids who had not yet seen eighteen winters, the Spruce Tournament of Valley Spirit Village was the gateway. Going through it was a guaranteed shortcut to the upper echelons of the art world, and its prizes… the envy of kid and adult alike. Personal one-on-one training with a Consulate Magistrate, a piece of rare, gateway metal, and the respect of nearly everyone in the village.

There were complex strategies involved, but the basic rules were simple: four kids per team, six short rounds of speed painting, and each kid could paint in up to two rounds. Each team had to produce two paintings to be judged. The teams would decide the order of who painted which rounds on their own, depending on the skills that each member brought to the team.

Gaeton climbed to his feet.

“Come on. Let’s go check out the other teams,” he said to Path.

Where Gaeton was restless, Path sat on his knees, still as the great star with eyes on the ground as though he were reciting the names of every tree in the forest spelled backwards in his mind. He inhaled a deep breath of crisp morning air that smelled of fire pine and sentry oak.

“Ya,” he said with a nod.

To prepare for the tournament both boys had trained under a man named Churn. Churn’s painting style resembled a forest squid ripping trees out of the ground and tossing them in the air. A swift, dual-hand painter, he used both hands and multiple brushes in the unorthodox Thrust style, attacking completely different sections of the canvas at the same time.

Gaeton was one of his best students at mixing paint colors. The plan for this tournament was for him to go first. He would create the perfect initial colors for each painting as fast as possible and start light drafts of the paint subjects for his team. Path was Churn’s only student who could wrap his mind around dual-hand techniques, so he would bring the speed of fire through dry grass to both paintings in the second and third rounds. Their teammate Corinda would handle corrections in rounds four and five, and Blue, with her eye for perfection, would be their finisher.

The two boys walked beside each other surveying the other teams.

“So what do you think?” asked Gaeton. Five pairs of canvases were set on stands in a circle around a wooden chest beside a tall, five-tier pedestal. A small, empty table stood in front of each of the canvas pairs. This was all in the middle of Dirth Clearing, a wide, half-moon shaped meadow, too deep in the Ever-Growing Forest to be found by those who couldn’t hear spirit villages.

All of the competing teams were present near their canvases and battling pressure in their own ways. Some kids stood on their heads with the knees on their elbows and rumps in the air in the Bumbum Fortune pose. Gaeton and Path shook their heads at this and walked on.

A couple kids were rubbing bright, purple luckbird feathers against their wrists. Others lay flat on their backs staring at yellow clouds. A few were on their stomachs, listening to the soil. There was much pacing, sweating and last minute adjusting of brushes and paint jars.

Path nodded towards a girl sitting calmly in the shade at the edge of the clearing. “Looks like Brook picked up Anita,” he said.

Anita’s back was against a tree, her thin eyes closed and legs crossed. Long black hair flowed down her shoulders and arms, covering her with darkness deeper than the shadows around her.

“Anita. I hear she’s pretty smart,” Gaeton said.

“Brilliant,” Path corrected. “Two-time winner of the Spring Arts Festival.”

“Ya, but that’s not a speed contest.”

“She’s going to be real good at mixing colors, though. She trains under Falsap, and his color mixing almost made him a Briturant champion.” Path shot a sideways glance at his husky friend.

Gaeton flinched as a tingle of heat crept across his forehead. Obviously Anita was going to lead for Brook’s crew and would face off against him.

“I got it, don’t worry. Our real problem? Them, don’t you think?” He looked toward three tall boys standing beside a canvas. They all had large front teeth and worried faces.

“Fifen’s sons? Ponce and Redd are dangerous, almost as fast as me and they use one hand. But,” Path shook his head. “As long as they keep bringing Horace with them…”

“He’s a dead branch,” Gaeton agreed. “But their mother’s a Briturant champion. A lot can change when you train with a champion. And you must not have heard yet.”


“They picked up their mom’s top student. Gemree.”

Path stopped walking. “That’s not a problem,” he said. “That’s a huge problem. You don’t look too worried about it.”

“I’ve been chasing after this Spruce win like a basilisk, but…”

“You also want to see Gemree. You mule.”

Gaeton’s round cheeks gathered to one side in half a grin.

“Hey guys,” a glum voice called out. It came from an even glummer looking face. A short, bow-legged girl with shoulder-length hair that was, like Anita’s and the two boys’, blacker than a nightmare, trudged over through soft grass. Small, white grasshoppers buzzed into flight before her.

“Hey Brook,” Path replied. “Nice pick up, pulling Anita over from Spring Arts.”

“Like it’s going to matter now,” said Brook, sulking. “You guys heard about Gemree?”

Gaeton let out a conflicted sigh. “Have we.”

“You guys’ team was the only thing I was worried about.” Brook stopped beside them. “And now this. Gemree.”

“Ya,” said Path, staring at what was now the most threatening team. “Changes everything when you bring in the top painter of our generation.”

Brook shot Path a curious look. “Some people say that title belongs to you.”

“Not since her dad somehow got Fifen to accept her for training. The best we train with is Churn, and he’s too crazy to ever win the Briturant. But Gemree. Have you seen the stuff she can do lately?”

“It’s good,” Brook said as she shrugged. “If you like Flame of Color style.”

“Got her back to back Briturant commendations,” Path noted with a touch of sourness, to which Brook snickered.

“That stuff’s not going to save us from the Descent,” she said. “It’ll take a Frozen Forest painter, like you. Or me. You got a commendation last year, didn’t you?”

Path nodded. “First time. Woa!” He thrust out his arms.

Gaeton and Brook followed his alarmed gaze to a slim boy leaning against a tree on the edge of the clearing behind Fifen’s sons. Fluttering leaves on low branches obscured his face, but through the gaps they could clearly see his most defining feature.

Brook’s eyes widened.

“Silver hair,” she said and shifted uncomfortably. The shadow of a cloud drifted over Dirth Clearing darkening everything. “What’s he doing here?”

“Who knows. We better not get too close. Looks like his bad luck is kicking in,” said Path with a grimace as a few beads of sweat appeared on his forehead. “Is it just me or do the sons of Fifen look snapped? Tournament starts at noon, but I don’t see the number one painter of our generation.”

“You’re right,” said Gaeton looking around. “Wow, did he bring the luck down on them! What’s that guy’s name again?”

“I don’t even know,” said Brook. “Nick. Or something. The source of the Descent. Things could get crazy if his bad luck keeps spreading, but I guess we should be glad he’s here. At least we might have a chance after all. Forest rivers.”

All backed away without taking eyes off the silver-haired boy like he was some rabid creature that might lunge after a random target at any moment.


message 10: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Jr. (anthonymbriggsjr) | 42 comments “I can’t believe mom isss doing t­hisss to usss,” Ponce whispered with a slight whistle escaping his teeth.

“What elssse did she sssay?” asked Redd.

“That was all. She’s making Gemree repaint her last two Briturant entries,” Horace answered. His teeth weren’t quite as big as his brothers’. But even though he was the middle child at sixteen winters, he was the shortest.

“Why now? There’sss two whole weeksss left before they’re due!” Ponce broke an old brush in his hand. “Thisss wasss my lassst chance!”

Horace could only shrug. “I asked mom to change her mind. She might. Sorry guys,” he mumbled.

Redd let out a sigh that whistled up and down like a robin’s song. “Not your fault,” he said. “With Gemree covering you we could’ve won!”

“Woa. Definitely not your fault,” Ponce glowered at something behind his brothers. They both spun around.

“You!” Redd hissed at the silver-haired boy, who said nothing but only looked from team to team.

“All teams will form to present colors and brushes!” a voice shouted.

“What are you doing here?” Ponce demanded. “My lassst chance and you come and ruin it!” He leaned over and picked up a rock. “I’m gonna sssmash your head open!”

“Drop it, drop it,” Redd whispered. The silver-haired boy had pushed himself up off the tree to the ready. “The Juror isss coming.”

A short, plump woman strolled over wearing an indigo spider-silk shawl that sparkled in the morning sun like a sky-blue river. Behind her a silent man a full two heads taller followed, dressed in a dark brown robe and wearing a wooden mask over his face.

“Your paints to me, brushes to the Porter,” the woman ordered.

Ponce and Redd looked at each other.

“Our paintsss are in the ssstand,” Ponce said grudgingly as all three boys handed over their brushes for inspection.

“Look,” said Ponce and put a hand on Redd’s shoulder. “Here’sss what we do…”

“And have you no brush?” the Juror called out as she examined the ten jars of paint sitting in the stand.

Horace wondered who she was talking to. Ponce and Redd had huddled into a rapid discussion about strategy.

“Uh, no?” a voice answered. “I’m not–”

“Very well. All is correct?” she asked the Porter. He nodded and set the brushes on the stand.

“As you know, you may not touch your brushes again until the drop of the seed,” the Juror reminded as she left for the next team.

Horace turned around and saw the silver-haired boy standing there with his mouth open looking surprised.

“It could work. Once we pick our sssecond sssubject, we’ll sssee,” Ponce was saying as he headed over to the canvas.

“I’ll go check, but, how can we finish two paintingsss with just four roundsss?” Redd said downcast.

“It’sss all we’ve got. Jussst – I don’t know. My lassst year. And we get sssabotaged.” Ponce glared at the boy like he wanted to run over and unleash frustration with his fists.

The other teams were soon inspected and cleared. A buzz arose around Dirth Clearing louder than years past. Plenty of well-dressed spectators had arrived in colorful attire, lots of kids and quite a few parents and all eyes repeatedly checked the team of three boys. Where was Gemree?

Her absence was felt. One team changed their lead painter. Another fell to arguing about switching subject selection strategy.

“But we can actually win, now!” a team member shouted at another.

“All ready?” the Juror called. She held up a seed above her head, which wasn’t very high.

The Porter opened a chest and pulled out five items: an old sandal, a ragged book, a rotting cantaloupe, a banded stone, and a giant acorn. He set each one on a tier of the pedestal in the middle of the circle of team canvases.

There was a flurry of pointing and whispering as the Juror moved her hand over a pot. A tall stick with three red bands painted on it stood in the middle.

“You may choose a subject for your team after you lay down your brush in the first round. Your goals for this tournament are perspective and depth. Begin!” the Juror shouted and dropped the seed.

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