Reply To: Lesson #4 Emotional Voice

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Katie McCoach



So glad you enjoyed this. Great work!!

I’d love to see a bit more of the hesitation, anxiousness, and romantic feelings in Option 2. Maybe a skip of the heart beat when she asks him or even when he greets her right away. Set readers up to be invested in the two of them from the start, not just after the convo happens. If readers start the first line knowing it’s not just his best friend he is greeting, but as he walks up to her his heart skips, or he fidgets, or he is describing her in his eyes in a way that exposes his feelings, etc. then we will really feel deep in his head. What would be the first thing he’d notice about the girl he likes when he goes up to her at school? What’s the first thing he feels, sees, thinks?

Homework 4

Wow, that was a great challenge. Love it!


Boss’ words paralyzed my body. The only part still moving were my lungs, but even though they were racing faster than a sprinter, they couldn’t produce enough oxygen to form words defending my innocence. What would I say, anyway? Boss’ mind was made up. There was nothing around to prove I wasn’t the thief.

So, that’s it. I never knew how to fight with a bully, so when he pushed the box in my direction, I moved my hands to start packing. Like a robot I picked my belongings one after another only to freeze again when I touched the frame shaped in a heart around my daughter’s smiling face. I’m sorry, Sweetheart. I’m so sorry.

No, the hell I’d be sorry again. I may not have a proof, but I knew how to pay him back. My body reversed the reaction and now all parts moved in sync while I held my breath. Before Boss could stop me, I blocked the door and ripped off my shirt. His eyes widened, darting between my breasts I exposed and the buttons rolling down the floor.

“You going to forget your accusation and return the missing money right now,” I hissed. “If not, I’m walking out of this room, crying you abused me. And I’ll do it again every time you pull this shit on me, understand? The counting starts now: one, two…”


“You won’t believe this shit,” I greeted my BFF on the way to school. “My dad got a job in Colorado. We’re moving.”

“What? No! They can’t do that. The school only started a couple months ago. That’s not fair…” The color on her face changed from pale to red and then to pink.

I hoped mine didn’t duplicate the last hue. Or if it did, she’d think I’m just mad at my parents, not embarrassed by my next question. “I know. I…Maybe…Would you like to…ahh, we can always face-time each other, right?” Shit. What a chicken. I put my hands inside the back pockets and rubbed the sweat off my palms. With a deep breath, I tried again. “I mean—”

“Let’s go to the Homecoming together,” she blurted. “You know, to celebrate our last time.”

A quick glance at my shoulders confirmed I didn’t grow wings, but I felt like I could flop them and fly up the sky at once. Maybe I levitated a bit. I stretched my lips to a mile-wide smile. “That’s awesome. Let’s do it. You and me. Cool!”


Isn’t life a bitch? Or Karma? Or God? Or this asshole in front of me who could have thought about that promotion a few years ago?

I swallowed my disappointment, the sour words that sprouted in my mouth. Maybe it was meant to be like that, to teach me a lesson, to learn how to prioritize what’s the most important in life. Not this guy in front of me, that’s for sure, with his offer I would never pass if he’d told me just two days ago.

I raised to my feet, extending my hand for a handshake. “Thank you. But my dreams have changed.”



Katie McCoach, Instructor
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