Once Upon a time…

The book is going to start where I first started it, in 2006. Nine years ago. I’ve looked at the first chapter so many times I have it memorized. It’s etched in stone. So even though there are sentences that don’t work, and I haven’t quite captured the feelings or mood I want, I’ve been mystified about how to change it/them.

Until today.

Today my free first page critique arrived from Becca Puglisi at


I’ve never entered any kind of on-line contest, much less won one, so I was thrilled to be chosen for the July edition of  Critiques 4 U.


This blog is an excellent source of ideas, inspiration, and writing advice. They (Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman) have also published three very useful reference books:

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression

The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes

The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws

These can be found at http://writershelpingwriters.net/bookstore/

But before I do any more work on refining the characters, I will have to kill a few darlings on the first page.

Thank you Becca, for giving me the courage to wield the delete key!


About Cathy Smallwood

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