Lodestone, by Wendy Scott (11:20)

IOD-LodestoneToday we see that even small clichés can erode confidence in the originality of the writing.

What I gleaned about the story: With graduation from the school for witches just around the corner, young Sabrina’s life is sent into a tizzy. Somebody is killing all the graduates.

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WTF #1: Name cliche

Analysis: Am I the only one who finds a teenage witch named Sabrina to be a horrible cliché? Even if I am, it completely broke me out of the story.

WTF #2: Clumsy exposition

Analysis: After two pages of school girls reciting their history lessons in hushed whispers, just so that the reader would know about the cruel old witch and her long troubling past of wickedness, I got annoyed. There was no good in-story reason for them to be discussing it. The trick to good exposition is to make it a necessary part of the discussion. And ideally it should be dramatically interesting as well.

WTF #4: Cliché story device.

Analysis: A young teen living in a magic school with no memory of their birth family, marked only by a conspicuous scar? I think I’ve heard this one before. The moment where portraits of several past graduates exploded from the walls, to signify that they had just been murdered was a very compelling and (to me, anyway) fresh idea. But when the clichés are coming faster than the compelling bits, I find it hard to maintain my interest.

Twisted Rixter, by Gretchen Rix (40:00)
Ever Shade, by Alexia Purdy (6:35)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.