WIPpet Wednesday: Meet the goblin master

I just finished doing a read-through of my novella “Good Old-Fashioned Magic,” so this week’s excerpt is from that story. This is the scene in which Maddy and Michael meet the goblin master, the right-hand man of the warlock who’s spent decades hunting down Maddy and her ancestors and tormenting them for sport. (Maddy’s a witch by the way.) Since today is Nov. 5, my math is 1+1+5=7. Here are seven paragraphs from “Good Old-Fashioned Magic.”

Michael was expecting more goblins, or some orc-looking creature, stinking and swinging an ax and growling like a feral beast. What stepped off the back porch and through the now-decimated doorframe surprised him, to say the least.

It was a man, with the swagger of a lumberjack and one brown eye, one green. His black hair was cut short, and a scar slashed across his face, twisting one corner of his mouth. He was dressed as if he was on his way to the Renaissance Faire, right down to his thudding black boots. But he’d just broken down a solid hardwood door, so Michael guessed he wasn’t stopping by for a pint of ale.

Maddy withdrew her hand. She looked as confused as Michael felt. That couldn’t be a good sign. “Who the hell are you?” Maddy demanded.

The man’s face contorted into a half-grin. There was something off about this guy, though Michael couldn’t pinpoint what. “Knabb. You must be the little witch, Maddy MacRae.” He mimed doffing his nonexistent cap. “Pleased to meet the firecracker that blew my goblins to smithereens,” he said, his voice deep and full of gravel.

This was the goblin master? Michael hadn’t been picturing someone so—human.

Michael glanced around the room, looking for something—anything—to defend himself and Maddy with. The fireplace poker was within reach. Maybe if Maddy distracted the goblin master, Michael could catch him by surprise. Then, they could make a run for it, like Maddy had suggested. He tried to meet her eyes, but her gaze was locked on Knabb. She cocked her head as she studied him.

“Nice glamour,” she remarked, as if making small talk, but with a little bite in her words. “Did MacLir make it for you? I hear it’s his specialty.”


WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K.L. Schwengel. Click here to read other writers’ WIPpets.

ROW80 midweek check-in:

A slight change in plans (again). I have a lot of irons in the fire at the moment, so I’ve been bouncing around on projects lately. Instead of having project-specific goals, my first writing goal will just be to make measurable progress on one of WIPs.


1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Completed a read-through of my novella “Good Old-Fashioned Magic.” Ready to enter necessary changes and corrections and then send it off to my critique partners.

2.) Read three books on the craft/business of writing. One of three books read. No progress on this goal so far this week.

Social media goals:

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. On track to meet this goal.

2.) Blog twice a week. On track to meet this goal.

3.) Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. On track to meet this goal.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

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Fantasy & paranormal romance author. Witch. Tarot reader. Possibly a woodland sprite. Debut release TANGLED ROOTS now available. Magic awaits at www.denisedyoungbooks.com.

22 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday: Meet the goblin master

  1. With an entrance like that, I must second Maddy about the glamour. Also taking that entrace into account, that poker probably won’t do Michael much good. You did well bringing tension and a bit of lightness (that didn’t undo the tension, but in a way added to it) in this scene.

  2. Oooh, I LIKE this! You painted a very visual image here; I could easily picture the scene and the invader.

    How are they going to get out of this one?

    And hooray for your goals, and knowing when to adapt them.

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you liked it and that you’re wondering what happens next. That’s a good sign.

      Yes, with all these projects, I realized I needed to make my goals a little bit flexible. These should work just fine for the rest of this round.

  3. Nice excerpt Denise. I especially liked the description you give of the goblin master and how he’s completely different from how Maddy and Michael have imagined him.

    I think this is true to life – having a vision in your head of what someone will be like before you’ve met them, especially if you don’t have a photo of them – or even if you do they can still not be what you expect. So this is a good introduction for me to this story. 🙂

  4. Congrats on the progress on your goals and on finishing the read-through!

    I really liked the twist at the end of this snippet, in the way Maddy confronts the goblin master. Good luck with the rewrites!

    1. Thanks, Ruth! I ended up with about 14 pages or so of changes/corrections to enter into the manuscript, but I’m just about finished with all the edits. It’s almost ready to be sent to my critique partners.

      Have a great week!

  5. That was a really fun excerpt! I love how Maddy doesn’t even sound afraid, she just jumps straight to analytical/funny.
    I, too, just want to make some progress on my two writing projects. Good luck this week!

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