28/05/2019
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Under the Microscope extra: Driving Down Shore Road

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Read our suggested rewrite of a reader's first 300 words and for the full critique, see the July issue of Writing Magazine.

Driving Down Shore Road, by Liberty Corneby - original version

This was it! This was the one. A new start and a fresh beginning. That's all Maisie wanted, all she needed. Was it too much to ask for? It had seemed so. Until now.

Breathing an inward sigh of relief Maisie felt her exhausting, and often soul destroying, search for a home was finally over. She hadn't really thought it would be possible. After all she did have such a tiny budget accompanied by a very lengthy list of particulars required to find the perfect home for herself and Madison, her very loving and loyal Golden Labrador.

“What do you think?” The estate agent's gentle enquiry pulled Maisie out of her reverie. Too caught up in her thoughts to respond immediately, Maisie uttered a non-commital 'Mmmm' and continued up the steps leading to the front door.

“I like the door colour,” murmured Maisie.

“Yes, it's just recently been re-painted. The warm terracotta hue gives it that nice Meditteranean feel,” replied Tim, the overly enthusiastic estate agent. Not sure Dilshaw could be classed as an exotic town thought Maisie, but hey, it was a gorgeous coastal town in Devon so practically the next best thing.

Holding her breath nervously twiddling with her long brown curls, she watched Tim unlock the front door. Maisie glanced eagerly around the communal hallway. Her previous experience of these entrances had been distinctly negative, with their insalubrious threadbare carpets and fusty air. But this one, she thought, might just pass muster. The junk mail, a small stack of takeaway menus and free circulars, had been tidied away onto a table neatly tucked away in a corner. The brown bedouin carpet looked immaculate and even the solitary potted fern looked verdant and thriving.

Must be the sea air, thought Maisie.

 

Driving Down Shore Road - McCredited version

This was it! Surely, this was the one. A fresh beginning. That's all Maisie wanted, all she needed. Was it too much to ask?

Weeks had passed. Months! How many houses had she seen? How many musty rooms? How much dirty wallpaper? They all blended into one long disappointment and the slow erosion of hope that she would ever find the one. It didn’t help having such a tiny budget and such strict requirements to find the perfect home for herself and Madison, her very loving and loyal Golden Labrador.

“What do you think?” said Tim the estate agent.

“Mmmm,” she said, continuing up the steps to the front door. “I like the door colour.”

“Yes, it's just recently been re-painted. The warm terracotta hue gives it that nice Mediterranean feel.”

Not sure Dilshaw could be classed as an exotic town, thought Maisie, but, hey, it was a gorgeous coastal town in Devon so practically the next best thing.

She held her breath and twiddled her long brown curls as she watched Tim unlock the front door. Her previous experience of these communal hallways had been broadly negative, with their insalubrious threadbare carpets and fusty air, but this one looked promising. The junk mail, a small stack of takeaway menus and free circulars, had been tidied away onto a table in the corner. The brown Bedouin carpet looked immaculate and even the solitary potted fern looked verdant and thriving.

Must be the sea air, thought Maisie.

For the full critique, see the July issue of Writing Magazine.

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