ConCarolinas 2014: Live Action Slush, Round 2

If you haven’t read about the first round of live action slush, you can read about it here.  This round continued where the first round left off.  It seemed a couple of the pieces didn’t have their human present though.  But the info was still great!

In this round, the reader was A.J. Hartley.  Hearing some of the southern style writing read in a British accent was pretty hilarious too.  I wish I could have recorded some of it! (But that wasn’t allowed so everyone would feel safe having their work read aloud.)

The critics were the same three from round one: Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, and David B. Coe.

Here we go!


Slush #1

  • In a battle, sentences should be short and fast.
  • When you’re in combat, the only thing you’re thinking about is living to the next heartbeat.

Slush #2

  • Don’t single space.
  • Too much world building and description at the beginning will not sell.
  • Wordiness is bad.
  • Don’t end a sentence with about. (like I just did?)
  • First sentence shouldn’t be long.
  • There’s too much description and no action.

Slush #3

  • Wow. Ravens. Wow.

Slush #4

  • Wow again.
  • Comment from writer of the piece – you know how Stephen King said you have to write a million shitty words to get to the good stuff?  This is about a million five.

Slush #5

  • The big moment got lost.
  • Too much wordiness.
  • Poor organization of necessary info.
  • Watch word repetition and boring description.
  • Needs to be more sparse.
  • Know your weapons.

Slush #6

  • Sparse room doesn’t exists – sparsely furnished room does.
  • Watch out for inconsistent descriptors because they will kick the reader out of the story.
  • First page must be absolutely perfect.

Slush #7

  • At times you want to withhold from the reader, not on the 1st page though.
  • Watch for mood shifts.
  • Remember bait and hook.

Slush #8

  • Need to be clear who the main character is.
  • Find your point of view character.
  • Watch out for the comma splice.  Major error.

Slush #9

  • What’s the point of view?
  • Nothing’s happening.
  • Editors won’t be patient waiting for something to happen.
  • First person, present tense not in style.  (past is preferred)
  • Don’t put self description on the first page.
  • Beautiful women who don’t know they’re hot?  Please.  (That was A.J.’s comment)
  • The panelists (maybe A.J.?) also pointed out that female characters get described by how they look.  Men don’t.

Slush #10

  • Needs intimacy, not distance.
  • Show rather than tell.
  • Description sets the stage for the whole book.

Slush #11 (they were starting to rush at this point because we were out of time)

  • Don’t trivialize the description.

Slush #12

  • This one was hilarious.
  • Humor is good when done right.
  • People wanted more. (I wanted to read more too!)

Thanks for reading!  The Magical Words group said that they plan to do more of these in July at ConGregate, so I will be sure to take notes then too!  They said they might even take a video to share if it’s all right with the writer.


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