Sunday Snippets -Critique Blog Hop #1


Here’s to trying something new! I am participating in a critique blog hop.  Every Sunday I will be adding 250 words of whatever work in progress I feel like I need help with at the time – don’t expect it to always be perfectly edited when it gets posted 🙂  This is a good time to give feedback.  I believe others are on their 8th post – click below to see other participants.

(If you would like to leave a critique use Jennifer’s method: 

  1. Use the Oreo Cookie method. Good-Bad-Good. You can say something nice about anything. There is no reason to be blatantly obnoxious.)


So here it goes.  This is a contemporary romance.  It has no title at the moment.  See what you think about the first 250 words!

Marci Adam’s was gripping the steering wheel too tight.   Her breathing was coming out a little quicker then appropriate for someone who just made a conscious life change.  Her forehead was pressed against the cold, hard, black plastic of the same steering wheel that she was clinging to as if her life depended on it.

“What did I just do?”  No one was going to answer her except for her dog, the dog that had eaten her last chip somewhere between the Maine border and her old life.  Heavy panting and the thwap, thwap of Stella’s tail was starting to wear on Marci’s last nerve.

“Stella, stop.  Please.  I beg you.”  She slowly turned her head to glance at the always perky black lab.  “When are you not loving life?  Seriously?  Spill your secret to life.  Right now I could really use it.”

The fact that Marci had just spent most of her savings on a bed and breakfast, that she had purchased at midnight on Craigslist, was starting to sit like a rock in her stomach.  Too bad the feeling was three days too late for her to run.  Taking a deep breath she stared at the odometer.  It might as well have read a million miles.  There was no turning around.  She hadn’t driven a hundreds of miles from Colorado to Maine just to turn around and give up.   She wasn’t admitting defeat and turning back into the arms of the fiancé she’d just left behind.


In this hop, participants post 250 words of their work in progress to be critiqued. Then everyone hops around to critique others. Don’t have a post of your own? We’d love a critique anyway! And next time you can sign up yourself (see below)

Click on over to these great writers to check out and critique what they’ve posted!


*You may not copy or reproduce this post or any of it’s contents without permission from the author.  This work is the original work of Michelle Ziegler.

14 thoughts on “Sunday Snippets -Critique Blog Hop #1

  1. jamieayres says:

    Very good! I did find a typo in the second sentence . . . it should read ‘than’ instead of ‘then.’ No biggie. I’d also caution you to watch your use of ‘was.’ It’s a red flag to editors that you’re telling instead of showing. I know, I know–we’re all sick of hearing SNT! Anyway, I want to read more:-)

    • M. Ziegler says:

      THANKS!!!! DARN THE WAS and then. I for some reason love to type then even meaning than. No idea why. Thanks. And thank you for pointing out my telling! That is my biggest issue. Working with my editor on my last manuscript I was telling in a different way. It’s like kryptonite. Thanks again. These are things I can fix!

  2. caitlinstern says:

    I think you have an extraneous apostrophe in “Marcia Adam’s was gripping…”
    I love the “between the border and her old life” line–gives a sense of distance that’s emotional and geographic.
    You use a form of “turn” three times in your last three sentences. You might want to vary that, unless the repetition was intentional.
    Is she pulled over somewhere? Her actions give me a good feel for her anxiety, but I couldn’t quite tell. Except for hoping she isn’t driving, because she’s likely to wreck. If you say she’s parked before/after this snippet, ignore this comment. 🙂
    Nice set-up! This girl has a sense of adventure–or she’s desperate, or both. Definitely makes me wonder what she’s running from, and what she’s going to find at her destination. (I made more of a layer cake than a cookie, sorry.)

    • M. Ziegler says:

      Oh I curse that apostrophe! Thanks for the heads up. I will look at your suggestions. I will make sure it is clear that Marci isn’t a crazed lunatic driving with her head down 🙂 I think it’s clear with the accompanying paragraphs, but can’t remember. Oh the things we miss without help. Thanks for your input! And cookie – cake. Whatever. The point gets across.

  3. Kelly Hashway says:

    My biggest comment is that you use “was” a lot. You can actually get rid of them and use the past tense of the main verb to tighten up your writing. 🙂 (Was coming=came)

    • M. Ziegler says:

      Thanks for the pointer! I appreciate it. I think I should start a list of the things I love to do without knowing it. It would help me to stop – or I hope. Thanks again that is a wonderful tip!!!

  4. Ileandra Young says:

    Hi Michelle! Thanks for your comments earlier. I hope these are as useful to you as yours were to me. ^_^
    Oh, and I don’t tend to read the other comments before I start, so sorry if I repeat anything that has been tackled already.

    -It may just be a typo, but it doesn’t appear that ‘Adam’s’ in your first line should have an apostrophe in it.
    -Using the structure ‘_____ ___ was ___ ___’ gives the narrative a lot of distance. If that is your intent, great, but as a reader, I feel very far removed from the action; as if it has all already taken place and that I’m privy to it well after the fact.
    -I love that Marci talks to the dog. We all do that, consciously or not; sometimes it’s just safer talking to someone(thing) that we know can’t/won’t talk back. Very real, I felt.
    -You have a great hook there right at the end. Since this is your opening 250 sentences, I think it’s close enough to the beginning of the book to work, without drawing it out. Of course the questions are now ‘why did she leave her fiancé?’ ‘where is she going to live if she’s just moved so far from home?’ ‘Why a bed and breakfast?’
    -Incidentally, can you buy a B&B on Craigslist? That’s amazing! I assume you mean the business rather than a room at a B&B (otherwise it doesn’t sound like Marci had very much savings!), but that is a pretty awesome investment for Craigslist. Maybe I should take a look! 😉

    Until next time!

    • M. Ziegler says:

      Thanks for your comments! And oddly you can buy a business on Craigslist. Obviously you have to go through an agent for final purchase – but shopping for the actual business is in the for sale section of Craigslist. I do go into details throughout the next chapter with comments of how she got into this mess – just not in the first few pages and I don’t spend too much time over the exact details. that can all be fixed though. As far as the rest goes agreed. Was is my new issue that I plan to fix. *rubbing my temples* ugh. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s