Reply To: Student: Brenda Davis Homework Thread

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Linnea Sinclair

Contemporary Romance Revision 2 Wednesday To cover her cringe, Charlene said, “Your blunt cut bob is the exact gray as the images. Very stylish.” Madison’s brow quirked over her skeletal forehead. “We’re not here to exchange pleasantries. Look closely at the pictures.” Charlene curled her bitten-to-the-quick nails into her palms. She didn’t want to guess what would happen next. Whatever, it involved change. She hated change. Why couldn’t things just stay—same old, same old—safe? Elbows digging into her sides, she waited, and thought about the gloves. With the 60-degree Spring temperatures, it finally happened, they migrated to the clearance shelf, and after trying them on all winter, she’d snapped them up. Smooth as creamed butter, they slid over her chapped hands, enticing her to stop, to linger and to touch them even though she had catheter bags to change, and patients to check on. The gloves belonged to someone brave, someone who didn’t dread moving out of the family bungalow–a world traveler maybe. Madison’s blunt cut bob was the exact grey of the security footage printouts she spread across the desk—pictures of Charlene fingering the gloves.

You’re a good writer, a really good wordsmith, Brenda. But we’re having some minor issues here. 1. White Room Syndrome 2. Rapidly Changing Lanes without Turn Signal Syndrome

I can’t SEE anything in the present moment here, other than someone’s haircut and forehead. Then we’re in backstory with the gloves. Your use of sensory images is lovely. But… I’m lost. (I’m not fully because I’ve read your other versions, but if I’d not, I’d really be lost, kind of ping-ponging around in that white room.)

A flush creeping under his freckles, Eugene tugged at the tie he’d never bothered with before the merger.

“This isn’t about the gloves.” Madison launched another volley of security stills across the desktop–stills of Charlene entering or exiting bathrooms.

Okay, now we have another person, but no clue who he is or why he’s there. And we finally have an object–a desk–so we can assume we’re in an office, but can’t be sure.

Apology in the drooping of his jowls, Eugene held open the office door and motioned for her to exit.

We finally know where we are, only to LEAVE the place.

Sweetie, again, you have a wonderful command of words. And I KNOW you’re seeing the scene. You’re just not letting the reader see it.

What I suggest–because there are various reasons for this happening and I don’t know which one it is–is that you finish the first chapter or even the first three. Just get everything out on paper as you have here, mostly dialogue, which is fine. THEN go back in and layer in SETTING. It’s perfectly FINE to do it that way.

And edit the backstory into the narrative… a little here and there… so that it’s not an info dump up front (the gloves). I know the gloves are key. But  you can TEASE about that. You don’t have to do the naked streaker thing right there on page one. 🙂 In fact, I wouldn’t even have her THINK about the gloves UNTIL she sees the security photos. THEN–let us feel her shock and dismay and DON’T EXPLAIN THE WHOLE THING THEN AND THERE. Let the reader gasp and wonder a bit. Tease. Let the reader feel her confusion and, yes, her longing for something so fine, but then let’s pull her back into her current (awful!) situation of being fired. Tease tease tease. Because it seems to me that other than being a partial impetus for her firing (spending time in the gift shop) that have no direct impact on the plot. A pair of gloves, no matter how lovely, are a pair of mass-produced gloves and not something unique that she can ONLY get at the gift shop right there and no where else. (IE: They’re not ones owned by her late grandmother that have the only existing map to the treasure embroidered onto the thumb…). They’re symbolic but they’re not a goal/GMC issue.

Unless you embroider that treasure map on the thumb, then we have a whole ‘nuther story unfolding… 😉



//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//


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