Jennifer Eaton of http://jennifermeaton.com/sunday-snippets/ has initiated this Critique Blog Hop. Read the rules and sign up. You’ll find the other submissions at the bottom of this post.
This is the opening from a short story with the working title Whatever Will Be. I did run over the 250-word count because I couldn’t break off at that point. Please pardon the imposition.
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Twelve-year old Rosie stamped her feet and hurled the stuffed bear to the floor. “Jerri, grow up.” She gulped air, skinny hands on narrow hips. Her sister glanced up, blowing a whopping pink bubble. The gum stuck to her nose like a deflated parachute. Unperturbed, Jerri picked it off and poked the sticky goop back into her mouth. With a dramatic sigh she flicked another page of her magazine. “You’re gonna catch it—sneaking around again.” Jerri chewed and snapped her gum hard. With a languid hand she patted her drugstore blonde hair.
“He’s so hunky, don’t you think?” She tipped her head towards Rosie. “The way his baby blues fit snug around his hips and those cowboy boots—nobody in this rat’s nest town has anything like them.” Jerri hugged the True Confessions magazine, scrunching its pages to her remarkable teenage chest. “He’s a dreamboat and he’s mine.” She melted into the burgundy sofa, and the mountain of pillows, eyes closed.
“You’re impossible.” Rosie stamped out of the living-room. The door all but ripped off its hinges as she slammed it. Yeah, I’m familiar with The Dog. What a name. Ich.
She sprang up the street towards town, a three-minute stroll with her long legs. “Hey, Willis. Hold up. Whatcha doing?”
“Hi, Rosie. Gotta pick up some nails for my dad. We’re building a go-cart for next Saturday’s race. See ya.” Willis flew like a bullet up the hot mud-packed shoulder, holey runners kicking up dust against his well-patched pants. Rosie blinked startled eyes; her hand in mid-wave before he was gone. “Bye…Willis.”
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March 24, 2013 at 4:32 pm
I like the feel of it. You really made the last paragraph show her deflation. Only critique is “Rosie stomped out…” She can stamp one foot at a time in place, but to be mobile, she would need to stomp. All the rest would be the difference between Canadian and American (and Brit). 😉 xxx
March 25, 2013 at 8:22 pm
Hi, eagle eyes. I can’t even blame this SLIP on anyone but myslef–I thought I knew my English. Thank YOU, Red. I appreciate it.
March 24, 2013 at 4:58 pm
I have a couple of paragraph break confusions on who does what. This is definitely a stylistic choice, but here’s what I wanted to see:
“Twelve-year old Rosie stamped her feet and hurled the stuffed bear to the floor. “Jerri, grow up.” She gulped air, skinny hands on narrow hips.
Her sister glanced up, blowing a whopping pink bubble. The gum stuck to her nose like a deflated parachute. Unperturbed, Jerri picked it off and poked the sticky goop back into her mouth. With a dramatic sigh she flicked another page of her magazine.
“You’re gonna catch it—sneaking around again.”
Jerri chewed and snapped her gum hard. With a languid hand she patted her drugstore blonde hair. “He’s so hunky, don’t you think?” She tipped her head towards Rosie. […]”
I love their interaction! It shows so much about their relationship and each sister’s personality. I did want to know how old Jerri is–I’m guessing older that Rosie.
Jerri’s melting into the sofa, clutching the magazine is hilarious!
I could use a sense of where Willis is on her walk. Is he a next door neighbor right outside her door?
Rosie and Willis’ dialogue does a really nice job of showing an unequal relationship, where Rosie wants a friendship and he doesn’t even pause to talk. Makes me wonder if she might have a crush of her own.
I think “Rosie blinked startled eyes; her hand in mid-wave before he was gone. “Bye…Willis.” needs its own paragraph, too.
March 25, 2013 at 8:21 pm
Yes, I see I missed the paragraph breaks. About Jerri, I guess her ‘remarkable teenage chest’ doesn’t hint at her age. I’ll fix that. This is all good, Caitlin. Thank you for you sharp eyes.
March 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm
Good character building for the two girls, I got a great sense of the age gap and interests.
March 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm
Thank you, Mandy. I like these two.
March 25, 2013 at 1:13 am
Great show of relationship, but how old is Jerri? The relationship between siblings is great. I did have a hard time with POV. I assume you mean that Rosie’s hands were on her hips – but why does she notice her hips are skinny at that moment? Also just for clarity each time a new character speaks they should have their own paragraph. So Jerri’s lines should be separated from Rosi’s. Also when she starts off on the street is she surprised to see Willis, is he already running somewhere in a hurry, or does he startle her? You have some great descriptive sentences. A little more detail and some formatting updates will make this read great.
March 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm
Hmm. Back to the drawingboard. The one paragraph is only Rosie talking but It’s sort of long. Seems makes one forget she’s the one still talking.
Rosie calls out to Willis but he barely stops. If I must explain, I haven’t been clear. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your taking the time to do so.
March 25, 2013 at 6:15 am
Like the character build a great deal. I would have liked to know how much older or what age Jeri is.
Agree with Red on the ‘stamp’ vs. ‘stomp’.
Very nice job overall.
March 25, 2013 at 8:07 pm
Thank you, Valentine, and here I thought I knew how to spell….
March 28, 2013 at 11:30 pm
Wow. I really enjoyed this. Lots of action and I like the movement dialog tags. Be careful not to over-use them, though.
Also, I think this could use some paragraph breaks to help keep up in line with who is talking.
March 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm
I welcome your positive comment, Jennifer, and have noted the paragraph mess. I’m chipping away at it. Thank you.
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