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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > January 2018 > Under the microscope

Under the microscope

James McCreet scrutinises the first 300 words of a reader’s novella manuscript

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

Wake Me Before You Leave

On any other day this would have been a beautiful view.1 I understand now why people, more often than not,2 choose the west-facing side of the bridge to jump. To jump from the east would mean looking back at the city, which would be the last thing you’d want to see, figuratively speaking,3 if like me4 it was the very thing you were trying to escape.5

That is, of course,6 unless you were one of those ironic jumpers, out to make a point.7 In which case, knock yourself out.8 But me,9 I would much rather see the endless open ocean, the crystal clear sky10, and wonder at the sense of freedom it all brings, as I plunge through the air to my doom.11

I’ve read it takes a shade under four seconds from the time you jump to the time you hit the water,12 which isn’t long in real terms.13 B ut under some conditions14 I imagine four seconds could feel much longer.15 What if after jumping – say one second after –16 you have a change of heart?17 Then, those last three seconds might feel like an eternity.18 Although not long enough to learn how to fly, I would guess.19

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About Writing Magazine

In this month's issue, we show you ten ways to improve your writing right now, and look at how to impress an editor and get your feature articles accepted. This month's star interview is crime bestseller and Rizzoli and Isles creator Tess Gerritsen, who opens her casebook to discuss murder, medicine and false memory. When you've polished your work and got it ready to submit, check out the Writers' News pages – packed with opportunities to get into print and competitions to enter, with £54,762 in writing prizes to be won.

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