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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > August 2018 > Under the Microscope

Under the Microscope

Author James McCreet puts a reader’s first 300 words under his forensic gaze

Pearl and Doreen1

Does it have be at Irene’s?’2 said Pearl looking over the top of her teacup at Doreen.3 The two women were sitting up4 in the huge double bed Doreen had inherited from her parents.5

‘Does Writers have to be at Irene’s?’6 Pearl went on.7 ‘Can’t we have it here sometimes?’8

‘No. You know she likes a blazing fire to sit by.9 If she wants to spend that much money on coal it’s alright by me.10 It’s only three bus stops away and we save five-pence each if it’s fine and we walk.’11 Doreen turned to Pearl12

‘What’s wrong with Irene’s? We’ve met there ever since Friday Writers started.’13

But it was more than Pearl’s life was worth to mention the reason.14

Doreen sipped her steaming molasses,15 took a sidelong glance at Pearl,16 and thought how like a King Charles Spaniel she looked in her fluffy brown dressing gown,17 with her hair done up in curlers.18 She felt Pearl,19 five years her junior and her lodger for twenty, was inclined to be babyish at times.20

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About Writing Magazine

In the new issue, you can discover ten ways to make yourself more publishable, and learn how to bounce back from one of the hardest, yet most inevitable experiences for a writer – rejection. Also in August's WM, explore the philosophy of crime and the real Venice with bestselling crime writer Donna Leon in our star interview, check out £13,300 in writing prizes waiting to be won, and keep up to date with all the latest opportunities to get into print.