Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drop The Needle 31


"Okay," he said. "Here's what we do. We practice stance, although it says
you should never stand still. Keep moving, less chance of being hit. Then
we practice punching."

"But we don't really punch each other, right?"

"Course we don't punch each other."

Belly skimmed the book again and dropped it into his bag. He stepped out
with his right foot and coughed. "Okay. You put one foot forward, like
this. Then you hold your fists like this."

He reminded me of a fat praying mantis, but I didn't tell him that.
Instead I copied his pose and we stood, right fist to right fist. Then
Belly said, "Now, you pretend I'm Jacko and jump around like this." He
jumped from side to side, backwards and forwards like he had springs in his
shoes. "Keep moving so your opponent doesn't know where to strike."

It sounded good, but it looked dumb. "You sure you read the book right?"

"Yep, don't worry, it's right. this." Belly
pranced around and his fists flew like a crazed puppet. "Right hook, left
hook, uppercut," he said, puffing like he was being chased.

I hopped around like Belly. "Right hook, left hook, uppercut."

"No, no...not like this," said Belly. He repeated the move
while I watched. It was easier to follow this time because he'd slowed

"You okay?" I asked.


  1. Hehe. I liked Belly. The descriptions and his behavior really made him stand out in this piece. I could picture him hopping around acting tough. Good job.

  2. This made me laugh. I could picture Belly running around, punching the air, etc. and looking foolish. Good job.

  3. Belly strikes me as a fun, strong SC. I love that he seems unaware -- or doesn't care -- about how odd he looks. Both of the boys are amusing, so the scene was a lot of fun to read.

  4. Belly's character seems well developed and totally appropriate for this genre and scene. Loved the imagery of the two of them hopping around, practicing the moves they got out of a book!

  5. Great job with this! I love Belly, great descriptions of him and his character really comes off the page. I would definitely read more.

  6. This is really, really cute. I think both boys come across well here, but the combination of MC's observations with Belly's dialogue gives a tremendous impression of Belly. He seems to me like a boy who sorely wants to be tough but just can't quite manage to get the hang of the finer points of toughness. :-)

  7. I'm thinking Belly is the SC.

    What strikes me in your writing is how smoothly the MC describes Belly without it feeling like a narrative. Praying mantis is an apt description as the name is modern Latin, from Greek, literally ‘prophet.’ I can see Belly as the knowledge-giver in this friendship. And it is indeed a friendship since the MC obviously cares enough not to make fun and to be concerned when Belly gets out of breath and slows down.

    Nice work.

  8. Belly makes me laugh. Very enthusiastic character!

  9. I'm guessing Belly is the SC. He sounds like that bossy kid who actually doesn't know what he's doing. Very amusing.

  10. This works to a point... though I think "Belly" could have been better described or with more depth/detail.

  11. Belly seems like a funny SC. I loved the part where he's jumping around looking stupid, and defends himself that he read the book right. Good job!

  12. Learning to box from a book.

    That Belly thought he was doing it right - priceless.

    I don't know much about Belly at this point, but boy, do I think he's cute in this scene.


  13. The scene is well developed. So typical of young teenagers. I like the interaction between the characters, but I really didn't get a good feel for Belly's character.

  14. Belly is a great name, and I love the character. The scene felt like I was watching it rather than reading -- great imagery and pace. I was confused by the last line, but over all it was great!