Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drop the Needle: Death #24

TITLE: Hidden From Sight
GENRE: Romantic Suspense

"Oh, God," Maya gasped. "Is that him? The man who stole my baby?" Horrified, she looked at the crumpled man at Jonah's feet. She crouched down, determined to be the last voice the man heard before he died. She gathered his head in her hands. The man's eye's fluttered open. Maya drew back shocked. She looked at Jonah.

"No. It is't him," Jonah said.

"Eli." She sucked in a ragged breath. Seeing him again was a jolt to Maya's heart. She shook her head in disbelief. "But you're dead. I buried you months ago." As the disbelief wore off, anger set in. "I've been to hell and back because of you." Maya slapped Eli's face.

Eli groaned in pain. Blood seeped from the wound in his stomach. "Maya, I didn't want you to ever find out."

His voice was barely audible, his breath shaky. "I should have died in that accident."

Maya wiped away the tears. "No."

"You're better off with me dead. Dying was the best thing I could do for you and for Lily."

"Don't say that. Lily needs you. You're her father." Maya pulled Eli into her arms. The tears fell freely. Death was inevitable.

"No. Lily needs someone who can be her hero. I'm not that man but Jonah is."

Eli closed his eyes and drew in a final ragged breath.

Maya began to sing, "I love you, dear. Fear not for I am always near. Angels dance around your door . . . ."

8 comments:

  1. OH, IMHO, I think the slap was not necessary. In fact, I would delete ‘as the disbelief wore off, anger set in’ line. She can be angry, but show it in her words. No need to ‘tell’ us she is angry; ‘show’ us she is angry.

    Other than that, I liked the submission.

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  2. I also think the slap was too much for a dying man. There should be at least one exclamation somewhere in the MC's dialogue (e.g., Don't say that!) to show her anger and desperation.

    Overall, it was a great scene, primarily because of the relationships between the characters and how they're lives are each affected by Eli's death.

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  3. Yeah, I'd also take out the slap. For a guy who's dying? Harsh. But I liked the scene. :) Heart wrenching is what I'd say - to think someone you loved was dead, only to find out they've been alive and are now dying again. Very emotional scene, very well written

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  4. I'm not sure this works for me... probably the slap throws me off. But I also think realistically that if someone you'd thought was dead was suddenly in your arms dying again, anger would not be your first emotion. And the MC switches so quickly to comforting Eli, it just doesn't jibe.

    The writing is good; I just don't buy the emotions. A little tweaking and I think it could be really good.

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  5. The following suggestions are only that: suggestions. But I feel that your writing, along with the scene would gain from cleaning, cutting, and not over playing emotions.

    "Oh, God," Maya gasped. "Is that him? The man who stole my baby?" Horrified, (take out HORIFIED. Maya Gasped…portrays how she feels.) she looked (Down) at the crumpled (I cannot see “crumpled”. Need a more vivid picture)…man at Jonah's feet. She crouched down, determined to be the last voice the man heard before he died. She gathered his head in her hands. The man's eye's fluttered open. Maya drew back shocked. She looked (UP?) at Jonah.

    "No. It is't him," Jonah said.

    "Eli." She sucked in a ragged breath. Seeing him again was a jolt to Maya's heart. She shook her head in disbelief. (You can take out the previous sentence. We already got ragged breath, jolt to Maya’s heart…)"But you're dead. I buried you months ago." (As the disbelief wore off, You can take this out…than “anger” will have more of an impact…) anger set in. "I've been to hell and back because of you." (Maya slapped Eli's face. Oh please don’t have her do that…)

    Eli groaned in pain. (No need Blood seeped from the wound in his stomach.) "Maya, I didn't want you to ever find out."

    His voice was barely audible(, his breath shaky. No need to overplay emotions…)"I should have died in that accident."

    I think it's a good scene. All it needs is some polishing, cutting...

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  6. I love that I am frequently the dissenting poster. 1. Many of Henya's comments will help bring the reader into a more logical flow and understanding of the scene. I would use them. She's spent a lot of time with her crit and the suggestions you decide to use will improve the scene, I think. 2. Leave the slap, but make her angrier from the beginning of the piece.

    The problem with #2 is that while it would ramp up the tension, this is obviously a much more complicated situation that we can appreciate without knowing their true relationship. Doing #2 above, doesn't convey what you want, does it?

    Your only option is to really zero in on her mixed, churning emotions and take the rider on a direct ride. Presently, we are too removed from the scene to feel her, because we're not sure what she is feeling as she goes from anger, to betrayal, to agony, and finally reconciliation.

    Was that your intent? When this is all over, please post so I can come back. You've got my curiosity peeked to know what happened before and how the woman will react afterward.

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  7. I would agree that though there's a lot of emotion available here, we don't really get inside Maya's head. It's so close, and you've got a lot to work with, but we need to feel that tension and turmoil more. For example instead of talking about the disbelief wearing off and anger setting in, walk us through that in her head a little more, or her gut.

    And I *would* take out the slap. I just don't believe it for the way this character comes across - not when the guy has an oozing gut wound.

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  8. Author here. Here's the deal with Maya and Eli's complicated marriage. The story begins with Eli's funeral. It's a case of mistaken identity. Maya is upset obviously but relieved to be free of her miserable life with Eli. She loved him but he treats her terribly (lying, stealing, etc). She eventually falls for Jonah, an FBI agent investigating Eli for murder. When Maya's child is kidnapped because of Eli's secret life of crime, Eli comes out of hiding and works with Jonah to save the child. In the end, Eli redeems himself, but Maya has to overcome her anger first before she can forgive him. Hence the slap. I appreciate all of the feedback and truly do take it all to heart. Thanks to everyone who critiqued my scene. ~Betsy~

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