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Thursday, November 1, 2012

#1 Not Quite Right

     I've been watching the clock for the last ten minutes. When the bell rings I bolt out of the seat, but not as quickly as Daniel. He’s on his feet and scoops up my books before I can grab them. I have to jog to catch him in the hall.

     “Where are you going with my things?” I ask.

     Daniel gives me an exasperated look. “Out to the truck, so I can take you home. You have a problem with that?”

     “As a matter of fact, I do. I’ll walk home,” I say and reach for my books.

     “Look Sandra, I have a monster of a headache, don’t be a jerk. I’m sorry if I spoiled your fun, but it was for your own good. Just get in the truck, and I’ll take you home,” he says.

     “What do you mean, ‘for my own good’?” I demand.

     “Not here and not now. If you really want, I’ll explain it to you some day. Right now, all I want is to take you home and get on back to the peace of my own home. Please don’t make this harder than it already is,” he says looking at me like I’ve done something to hurt his feelings.

     I reach out and put my hand on his arm.

     “Don’t,” he says stepping away from me. “Just don’t try to make it better. Not now. Put your coat on, and let’s get out of here.”

Present tense is a ‘witch’ to do right. I couldn't do it, that’s for sure. Good job!

See if you agree with my edits. After you've established that he ‘wants to take her home’, limit the reference in the remainder of the conversation. This highlights the dramatic moment and makes your storyline zoom.

Regarding the attribute, ‘he says looking at me…’ IMO you don’t need to explain. The word ‘please’ creates a plaintive image in my mind of his attitude and is good enough. Sometimes a single word, please, shows what you want the reader to see/feel.

I would definitely turn the page!


Angela Brown said...

There's a strong voice displayed by he characters, both distinctive. The edits mentioned seem more for tightening than anything, which is about right because this is a good piece introducing conflict right away. I'd want to turn the page as well.

Patchi said...

I like the conflict too. I can feel it even though I don't know what she wanted to do and why/how he stopped her.

I like the edits; they tighten and speed up the pace. The only other word I would change would be this one:
"Right now, all I want is to take you home and get back to the peace of my own [place/house/apt]."

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I love your edits. This is a good, exciting piece to showcase.

Charity Bradford said...

I agree with all the edits too. By tightening things up and dropping more tags, it speeds things up so that you can read it in what I like to call "real-time pace".

I'm intrigued about what happened!

Huntress said...

Absolutely. A *very* strong Voice.

Huntress said...

You could add to the conflict/tension:

"Right now, all I want is to take your home and get some peace."

That creates a whole 'nuther aspect. :)

Huntress said...

This submission has it all, tension, drama, and (since we are coming into the middle of it) mystery.

Huntress said...

I wonder what happened before AND after :)

dolorah said...

It is catchy. I too wonder what the initial problem is.


mshatch said...

I agree with what everyone has said and wonder what preceded this scene. I also wonder, are they in school? But if so why is he going back to his apartment/home? And why is he insisting on taking her home? Very interesting indeed!

farawayeyes said...

Not sure if I'm supposed to reveal that this is my piece or not, but I guess I just did.

The edits are super, exactly what it needed. That line about going to his home, seemed awkward to me from the beginning, but I was unable to come up with the simple word 'place' to fix it - too close maybe.

Thank you all so much for the fine edits and comments. 'Tightening up' this bit of dialogue makes it so much better. Now I need to go through and apply this to the rest of the story. I sincerely hope you all will get the opportunity to know what comes before and after. REMIND ME and I'll forward everyone of you as signed copy as soon as I find someone to publish it.

FINALLY, I feel like I did the right thing by skipping NANO this year to work on getting this ready to go.

Huntress said...

Remind you?! I'll sit on your doorstep to 'remind' you if I have to.

"I hate waiting," - Inigo Montoya, Princess Bride