Thursday, March 3, 2011

Drop the Needle: REVELATION #17

TITLE: Another Little Piece
GENRE: YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

When Annaliese is found with no memory of who she is, she's returned to her family after she mysteriously went missing a year earlier, except she doesn't feel like Annaliese and soon memories start to surface showing her who - and what - she might really be.

Number sixteen, the name RICE written across his back, tore down half the field and danced into the end zone to score the final touchdown of the game. Rice Sixteen ripped his helmet off, and shaking his head, sent long shaggy hair flying. The setting sun flared behind him, gilding him.

And that's when I felt the first hunger pain. Even from my spot halfway up the bleachers, I could see the sweat dripping down his golden brown skin. Except it didn't resemble sweat, so much as the juices dripping from the crisped and crackling skin of a roasted chicken. I wanted to sink my teeth into him. My stomach growled with hunger at the thought. Saliva collected in my mouth. I swallowed loudly.

As if he knew, Rice Sixteen's gaze turned towards the stands and latched onto me. Surprise, shock, and something I couldn't name rippled across his face - and then the other players surged around him - hiding him from view.

Nausea replaced hunger. Drool turned to dust. Had I really wanted to take a bite of another person? Yes, yes I truly had.

In that moment it became clear: there was something seriously wrong with me. But was this something new to Annaliese or a problem she'd already had? I turned to the Mom, already knowing she wouldn't react well to the question of whether I'd had a problem with cannibalism before I'd disappeared, and trying to think of another way to phrase it.

17 comments:

  1. I really like your description of the birth of the hunger of your character in the second paragraph. The comparison to roasted chicken is priceless! :)

    The only problem I have is with the second sentence of the first paragraph: « Rice sixteen ... ». I just don't feel it, but I cannot quite put my finger on what feels wrong with it. However, the rest is very good, and I am captivated by it. I would definitely love to read the rest of it. :) Good luck!

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  2. Wow, I really feel the hunger in this passage, and the disgust, very visceral. The Rice Sixteen didn't faze me, it felt very much in line with the way the rest was written in a Stranger in a Strange Land kind of way.

    The writing, the mood, the tension, everything really caught my interest and I'd love to read more.

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  3. Obviously good writing. I liked the "Rice Sixteen" reference because it is awkward and reveals that the MC doesn't quite fit in.

    Loved the saliva collecting in her mouth and how she can see across that distance the details of his succulent sweat. :-)

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  4. I agree that the description of the hunger and comparing the football player to a roasted chicken was fantastic.

    The only thing that read off to me was the "Yes, yes I truly had." It jarred me out of the paragraph. I don't think that sentence is necessary. I think the beginning of the next paragraph where she things there is something wrong with her clearly covers it.

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  5. Sorry to echo everyone, but I really liked this. Loved the juicy comparison and 'the Mom' and the overall tension.

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  6. Loved it, though RICE written across his back, at first I thought he was shirtless until I realized he was a football player. The "drool to dust" didn't work for me either. Nice piece :)

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  7. I love everything about this.

    Just one nit: The first line confused me. Ditto on the comment about RICE written across his back. In addition, "tore down half the field" had me imagining something destructive happening until I read "he danced in the end zone." I'm not a huge football fan so I had to read this twice to get what was happening.

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  8. There was a moment of confusion, like Lisa said, about realizing this was a football game. But I'm sure that would be clear with the lead in.

    Very good writing here. Powerful reactions and emotions. I am hooked. It read just like from someone who had lost their memory, and I like how she wondered if this was a new problem or one she'd had before, and the disconnect with the Mom. Lots of good stuff.

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  9. Even though the reader won't be dropped in the middle of things, I think "jersey" might work better than "back," re: where the name appears. I immediately thought football, but it might have been the name Rice and an association with Jerry Rice that made the connection for me. Loved "the Mom." Poor thing is an alien in her own body.

    Minor nit - "and then" is somewhat redundant. Remove one or the other and the sentence still flows.

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  10. I immediately went to a football game because of the name Rice. I also thought of Jerry. Using jersey, as Tarak suggested, would read better.

    The hunger pains and her longing to take a bite of Jerry worked well, and I especially liked that he seemed to know it, however, I was reading it as metaphor, like she was jst really hungry, not that she might be a cannibal, and when I realized that was what you actually meant, I didn't get that "whoa!" feeling. It just seemed a bit odd. Perhaps add more to that fourth parg to make the cannabalism a bit bigger.

    In the last parg, 2nd sentence, you switch tenses. But was this something new to Annaliese or a problem she'd already had? SHould be - But was this something new, or a problem I already had.

    Overall, it works, but I wanted a bigger WOW! moment when I learned she might be a cannibal.

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  11. I agree this is great. It's just a tad wordy. Here's one example:

    "I could see the sweat dripping down his golden brown skin. Except it didn't resemble sweat, so much as the juices dripping from the crisped and crackling skin of a roasted chicken."

    Why not just "I could see the sweat dripping down his golden brown skin like juices oozing from a roasted chicken."

    I was thrown off from the "crisped and crackling skin" because I didn't see how a football player would generate that image.

    I loved "the Mom" and the fear she's a cannibal.

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  12. Good concept, good imagery. As Jen said, a couple sentences are long. In the "Rice Sixteen" sentence, you could remove "and shaking his head." The "I turned to the Mom" sentence could be broken up into two sentences.
    Try separating the "Yes, yes I truly had" into its own paragraph. It's important not to overuse that technique, but the stand-alone sentence for a revelation can be powerful.

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  13. I love this! It's funny but at the same time has the appropriate amount of gravitas toward the feeling of wanting to eat the football player. You do a great job of having your MC feel disconnected to "who she is/was" before she lost her memory, but at the same time, she has such a strong voice that the reader doesn't feel disconnected. Hard to do. Great job!

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  14. This is excellent. FANTASTIC voice. I would just echo others in just tightening up things a little here and there, and beware of overwriting. Personally, I would change the line about his sweat looking like juice to a question instead. So that paragraph would read like :

    And that's when I felt the first hunger pain. Even from my spot halfway up the bleachers, I could see the sweat dripping down his golden brown skin. Or was it juice dripping from the crisped and crackling skin of a roasted chicken? I wanted to sink my teeth into him. My stomach growled with hunger at the thought. Saliva collected in my mouth. I swallowed loudly.

    You're great at mixing up the flow of short and long sentences. Really nice narrative flow.

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  15. So many very good and helpful comments here, I'll just add my .02 and say I enjoyed this excerpt and would definitely want to read on.

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  16. Hunky football player = roasted chicken? Loved. It.

    I really enjoyed this excerpt for a number of reasons. At first I was grossed out by your MC's reaction to #16, but then as I kept reading, I realized you did such a good job in grossing me out! And I didn't have a any issue w/you referring to him as Rice Sixteen - with him wearing a jersey, that would be the only thing visible to let her know who he was.

    Excellent voice and good scene building here - I'm definitely intrigued that he sought her face out in the crowd and looked at her...which makes me want to read more for sure!

    Really liked this one...good luck!

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