Monday, December 16, 2013

Drop the Needle: A Gift

Here it is -- the promised critique round (last one of 2013!).  Since it's Christmastime, I thought it would be fun to focus on GIFTS in novels.

Not necessarily a tangible gift, though those are obviously included.  But it might be a gift of trust...a gift of time...a gift of sacrifice (like, dying for someone).

Now, don't fudge this!  It will be easy enough to look through some scenes and say, "Ah! This is when Fluke and Daisybelle have a fight while they're walking the dog.  I LOVE this scene, and it's a gift for the dog, who's enjoying the walk, so I think I'll submit it!"

Um, no.  Please make an honest attempt to stick with the intended spirit of this critique round.

What's cool about this is that it has the potential to uncover motivations or character traits in our characters that we might not have seen--might not have done on purpose.  As in, "Wow, that was very sacrificial of Ebony! I didn't know she had it in her!" Or, "Rudolph really reveals his love for Noodle way before the actual declaration, through this particular gift."

So.  Have fun finding the moment. :)

The Stuff:

*  This is a Drop the Needle round, which means your excerpt can come from ANYWHERE IN YOUR NOVEL.
*  Choose a scene in which one character is gifting another, whether with an actual present, or some other gift (time, sacrifice, life, mercy, information, etc.).
*  Your entry should include a ONE- or TWO-SENTENCE lead-in, to let us know where we are in the story, followed by your 250-word excerpt.  The word count for this submission is set at 290.  PLEASE DON'T LEAVE OUT THE LEAD-IN!  We need to know what's going on before we read your scene, so that we're at least somewhat grounded in your story.
*  Go HERE to enter.
*  This round is for completed novels and WIPs.  Please make sure your entry is proofread!
*  I will accept 30 entries and 2 alternates (which will only be used if there are entries that, for whatever reason, need to be disqualified).
*  Submissions will be open tomorrow (Tuesday, December 17) from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm EST.  This will be a LOTTERY; once the window closes, the bot will choose 30 winners to be posted.
*  The 30 entries will post on WEDNESDAY MORNING.  Critique may begin immediately.

Post your questions below!


  1. Ooh! Fun little theme!

    Good luck to everyone who enters!

  2. just novels? aw, that's too bad, I have a short story titled "Christmas Gifts"

  3. Intriguing...I'll have to look for one of those moments.

  4. i haven't done one of these in a while but I seem to remember a link to to a form for submitting our little snippet. Will that link be posted tomorrow?

  5. Oh, Karen, I should have included it in the post above! I will add it now. Thanks!!

  6. I commented recently on what a big time commitment critiquing can be, but I just can't stay away--I really do enjoy it and this looks like too much fun, so I'm going to have to jump in! :)

  7. Oh, shoot, I wanted to enter and had an all-day meeting -- couldn't enter before I left this morning.

    Anyway, I wish the best to all those who enter, and to Miss Authoress, our beloved Miss Snark, thank you for providing such a forum.

  8. I go on holiday for a week with rubbish internet connections, and miss out on something fun like this. Oh well, I can't think of a stand-out 'gift' incident in my WIP which I'm ready to have critiqued anyway, so next time :) And at least I found it in time to leave feedback for others.