Send your work at at gaia.b.amman at gmail dot com with subject “200 words”. Today we have the beginning of a novel. This is the text as I received it:
A storm was coming.
Salt-ridden waves slammed into the side of the cliff’s face, sending shattered water into the air. Sea mist hung low over the ground, the moon’s rays turning it into a silver veil. Storm clouds roiled in the distance, promising rain. Thunder clapped and lighting cracked across the sky, as if the gods were sending a warning.
A black van traced along the cliff’s edge, following the California coast northwards, buffeted on both sides by the sea and the wind as it followed an unmarked road.
Inside, Chief Brynjar Bernhardt watched as a collection of twelve men and women sat idly on benches lining the walls, swaying with the storm’s violent motions. Armor, black and dull, weighed down on every one of them, and their weapons, if they had any, were missing. Their ages crossed a wide range, dipping anywhere as low as fifteen to reaching as high as fifty.
Bryn realized that anyone from the outside would probably assume these men and women had spent years within a structured, government military. But he knew better. These men had been hardened in a combat most had never seen and forged in fires from the bellies of beasts.
These were his men. These were Vikings.
- Great writing! I very much enjoyed your descriptions :) I am also quite intrigued by a bunch of vikings on a van in Cali. I would keep reading :)
- Choose your words carefully! Are the waves really salt-ridden? What is the side of a face of a cliff? “Sending shattered water” could be replaced by “Spraying”. Fewer, more precise words are always better. You will notice that I cut out a lot, hopefully without detracting from the story
- Watch for repetitions. You used “storm” three times. I took two out.
- Great voice! “As if the gods were sending a warning”
- “Northwards” sounds a bit awkward, but maybe it’s just me ;)
- Be clear. “buffeted on both sides by the sea and the wind” at first I thought sea and wind were on both sides of the van :P
- I really liked the punch line at the end, great job!
A storm was coming.
Waves slammed into the cliff’s face, spraying water in the air. Sea mist hung low over the ground, the moon’s rays turning it into a silver veil. Dark clouds roiled in the distance, promising rain. Thunder clapped and lighting cracked across the sky, as if the gods were sending a warning.
A black van traced the cliff’s edge going north on an unmarked road on the Californian coast, buffeted by the sea on one side and the wind on the other.
Inside, Chief Brynjar Bernhardt watched the twelve men and women who sat idly on the benches lining the walls, swaying with the van’s violent motions. Their age ranged between fifteen and fifty, but with their dull, black armor, and fearless, stern faces anyone would have picked them for soldiers. Nonetheless, Bryn knew better. These were his men.
These were Vikings.
I am Gaia B Amman, the author of the Italian Saga (#TIS), a series taking place in gorgeous Italy, and talking about everything I was told is impolite to talk about ;)
The books are recommended for ages 13 and above, but most of my readers are adults. Available as audio, ebooks, and paperbacks.
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Because it was incredibly difficult to learn everything I needed to make my books successful, and I believe that no one else can write your book. So, I try to pay it forward with free edits and posts on writing. It spreads the word about my own books, and it helps other writers <3
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