27 January 2020
A reader's novel opening gets an editorial oversight
Read our suggested rewrite of a reader's first 300 words and for the full critique, see the March issue of Writing Magazine.
Make a Change, by Jo Wootton - original version
Outside was dark and the noise on the rain was like someone throwing stones at them. The house was lit up like Blackpool illuminations, and buzzing. The kettle was reaching fever pitch, while bread was spewing out the toaster. There was banging coming from an upstairs bedroom, while the cat was charging around the house, it sounded like a heard of elephants were on a rampage. The bathroom was like a steam room could see yourself in the mirror, with the gentle hum of the power shower, with great sloshes of water landing on the tile floor. All the celebrations were over the tree had gone out with the recycling and that was it another year over. Now it was back to the daily grind of work, school and a good blitz of the house.
Hannah wasn’t feeling the school run today. Why is it the second school was back in season the heavens opened. All she had wanted to do was to just turn the alarm off and say, “sod it not today.” It had been such a lovely Christmas and New Year, really chilled out. She had spent Christmas at home with her husband and son and just had a few of the family over for tea. It was always better that way so that no one had the stress of cooking the turkey, with several expectant people wanting all the trimmings, getting excited about pigs in blankets. Lets just face it Christmas dinner is only a good old Sunday roast with a few up grades, more veg, more meat a spot of weird jam for your turkey, bread sauce and disgusting stuffing that has been stuck up a dead birds arse. You could have a Christmas dinner every Sunday if you wanted just ask Toby (The home of the roast).
Make a Change - McCredited version
All the celebrations over, the tree had gone out with the recycling. That was it: another year over. Now it was dark and the rain sounded like thrown stones. Now it was back to the daily grind of work and school.
The house was lit up like a stage set, every window glaring into the night. The kettle was steaming madly and bread was shooting out the toaster like bullets from a machine gun. There was banging coming from an upstairs bedroom. The cat was charging around the house. The bathroom was so thick with steam that nobody could see their reflection in the mirror and the tiled floor was awash after everyone had hit the power shower.
Hannah wasn’t feeling the school run. Why was it that the second school opened the heavens opened? All she had wanted to do was to just turn the alarm off and say, “Sod it. Not today.”
It had been such a lovely Christmas and New Year – really chilled out at home with her husband and son. Just a few family members over for tea. It was always better that way: no stress about cooking the turkey with all the trimmings and someone getting excited about pigs in blankets.
Just face it, thought Hannah – Christmas dinner is basically just a Sunday roast with dubious “upgrades”: a weird jam for your turkey, wallpaper-paste bread sauce, and disgusting stuffing that has been stuck up a dead birds arse. You could have a Christmas dinner every Sunday if you wanted. Just ask Toby (the Home of the Roast).