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This is an excerpt of what promises to be a larger work, of a Newbie mundane tossed into a world filled with fairy and other fey folk who exist side by side with the Mundane world. I'd be interested in observations on style, voice, and anything else it may invoke. Thanks in advance to any who take the time to read, and especially to those who comment. --David Ian
Feyland: Wands and Hoggleworts
Hmmm. I dunno ," the fairy said in his squeaky voice.
"Whattya mean "you dunno", can you fix it or not?”
"Oh, there's no question about fixing it, no question,” he scratched his head and muttered, sparkles lighting around him. The repair shop was lined with table top tool, vices, clamps, and shelves stacked to the top with sealed ceramic jars, boxes with leather straps, and glass containers filled with powders, liquids and raw roots. A small flame flickered over in the corner with no apparent source. It looked part garage workshop, part apothecary, part science lab. The repair fairy took a glittery cloth from his sparkly overalls and wiped his forehead it. "It's just --"
"Just what?" I grew impatient at the fairies’ slow drawl. I was on a deadline, and apparently, fairy time seemed unaware of things like deadlines.
"It's just I need some violet mushroom dust to make it work..."
He lapsed into a silence, as if this explained everything.
"And.....?" I tapped a foot and made fists with my hands. The little whelp either didn’t seem to notice, or didn't consider me any kind of serious threat.
"It's a special kind of mushroom dust, only found in the Biggle Bog. Bad place the Biggle Bog. Troll country. Could be dealing with some Ogres, too. Bad thing dealing with Ogres."
I'm about ready to feed this guy to a Troll or an Ogre. Or a Hogglewort. Not sure what a Hogglewort is, or if one even exists, but it SOUNDS like it eats fairies for breakfast. I wonder if you can rent one? Actually, I know you CAN rent goblins and imps, but that means you have to go to THAT side of town. And I don’t go to THAT side of town unless I absolutely HAVE to.
“Hmmmm,” he ‘hmmms’ to himself again. I'm thinking this guy is scamming me for more money. It's a nice little racket this magic business, I’d like to get into it. It would tough for me, though, I think there's a height restriction. A maximum height restriction. It seems the smaller the fairy, the more adept at magic.
"Look, isn't there something you can do?" I resort to pleading. My pride's not too big to swallow.
“I’ve got a lot of work that I need done, and so I bought this wand to take care of it. It worked for the little jobs, but when I turned it on my big project due Monday, it just… broke. Made a strange noise and a little bit of smoke came out the end, right there --”
“Smoke? Wands don’t make smoke,” he dismissed me with a wave of his tiny hand. I didn’t need this.
“Look, can you fix it or not? I’ve got a big project Monday—“
“Listen, buddy,” his tone started to get edgy, but his voice still sounded delightful, like all the fairies’ voices do. “Don’t stress on me because of your procrastination and trying to take shortcuts using fey magic. Or abusing in this case…”
“I’m sorry. Look, this is the first wand I’ve ever gotten. I don’t know how it’s all supposed to work.”
“You read the instructions, for one, bub.”
“Instructions?” I was genuinely puzzled.
“Figures,” he rolled his eyes, shook more glowies out of his hair. “Look, if you bought it recently, I’ll need to look at the warranty before I even touch it. You did at least keep the warranty, didn’t you?”
“Warranty?” My puzzlement just got upgraded.
“Cripes! Where did you buy this wand, pal?”
“Nowhere. Some fairy named “Sparkles” sold it to me.”
“What! You bought it in the street? Are you some kind of moron**?”
Somehow the word “moron**” had a delightful wind chime echo “**” to it. The first time I heard this "**" sound from a fairy I thought it was some laughing effect. Now, in this context, it seems the wind chime sound “**” means something else.
“So, you bought this wand, from “some fairy” in the street named ‘Sparkles’? What a Newbie**” Wind chime echo sound again.
“That’s what she said, " I offered weakly.
“Yeah, ’Sparkles’, that’s a likely name,” mutter mode again. He took the glittery rag and wiped his forehead with it again. "Look, Noob, This is gonna take some time to fix, and believe you me, cost you plenty --"
Like, what doesn’t when it comes to fey?
"--but I can give you a rental replacement for the meantime."
This sounded promising.
"You've got a replacement wand that can make my work get done?"
I don't know why this didn't occur to me. I always want to get what I have fixed instead of replacing it. Some kind of misplaced loyalty, I guess. Or maybe I just have some sort of sick desire for this kind of fairy abuse.
"Well, not exactly," he hedged.
"So, what EXACTLY does it do?"
"I told you this is repair job is gonna take a while--"
"--AND cost me plenty--" I added.
"Right. So, yer gonna be doin' a lot of waiting around. This wand," he handed me another gaudily colored stick, "while yer waiting, this wand makes yer coffee taste better."
I couldn't argue with the logic.
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