Monday, March 21, 2011

Entry Number 13

Tile: Steamed Up
Genre: YA Steampunk

Nico ducked behind the rubbish in the alley and closed his eyes for precious seconds. Lower the heart speed. Slow the breathing. He peeked at his wrist chrono. Not enough. If they had an identifier, they’d find him.

He closed his eyes again to concentrate. He barely noticed the rat scurry across his foot as he imagined melting into the bricks and empty tins. When he opened his eyes, he belonged to the alley. His temperature matched the foggy London night, his breath left no telltale mist.

Footsteps pounded on the cobblestones, nearing the alley. Two sets slowed. Nico’s amplified hearing caught the whisper.


  1. Love that this goes right into the action. Well done!

  2. Oooh, I'm so curious about what's going on. Very cool. I'd read on!

  3. imagined melting into the bricks... love that line.

  4. I liked this a lot! Wonderful, clean writing and very gripping. Good job.

    Best of luck!

  5. I really got sucked into this while I was reading it. I felt the tension. So, good job with that!

    The only issue I had was when he looked at his watch and then the next sentence is "Not enough." Maybe it's not a problem because I can assume you mean not enough time, but that sentence seemed odd to me.

  6. I thought this was great. I want to know what happens next. :D

    Good luck!

  7. I could point out a few nitpicky things, but it might not help, so I’ll comment on the positives.
    Great voice. Awesome theory of magic… not to mention how creatively it’s used. Your story feels active, and moves nicely.

    Slightly choppy in the beginning, I felt some of the statements would work better as thoughts in his head. That way it would give us a sense of his emotion… and that would increase the tense—at least for me—nice work.

  8. Nice! A couple points...rubbish would probably be in bins not just loose. In England bins are what we call trash cans. I had to read this sentence several times... He barely noticed the rat scurry across his foot as he imagined melting into the bricks and empty tins. It didn't flow as smoothly as the rest of your entry. I'm intriqued...I can feel his excitement and I can feel myself trying to slow my breathing with him. WTG!

  9. Absolutely love this--I'd definitely keep reading. I have one pathetic nitpick, because it doesn't seem helpful to simply say 'I love it!'. Perhaps he could he could slow his heartbeat rather than lower the heart speed? It's a more usual phrase, so I think the reader would glide by it more easily?

  10. Love this! First of all, love the name, but also the immediacy, the snippets, all thrown in a believable way to keep me wanting more.

    Only bit: in the last paragraph "Two sets slowed" - it took me a moment to realize that meant the footsteps. You've got enough choppiness for pacing in the first two paragraphs, I would almost smooth out the sentences here to give the sense of him smoothing into the walls, calming his mind as well as his body.