Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drop the Needle: HIGH EMOTION #13

TITLE: The Dragon's Pearl
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Fifteen-year-old Misha has the ability to see memories. In this scene, a girl named Haerim confronts her after Misha spitefully exposed her for stealing a bracelet because Haerim used to bully her best friend.

"That bracelet was mine."

Misha turned around. "What?"

Haerim crushed the packet in her fist and stood up. "That Tiffany bracelet was mine in the first place."

"But Jena said her--"

Haerim shoved her. "My dad! My dad gave it to me on my birthday!"

The empty cookie packet flittered to the ground. Misha watched it fall and crumple, feeling her chest do the same. The bracelet belonged to Haerim? How did that work? No, she'd only made sure that Haerim had stolen the bracelet; she'd never checked to see whose bracelet it was.

"Jena stole it?" said Misha, faintly.

Haerim shrunk away. "No, she didn't. I let her borrow it, but then she acted like I'd given it to her. I thought I could take it back when she got sick of it and she wouldn't notice."

Misha wanted to wring Jena's neck. She could feel it already, thumbs pressing into the softest pressure point. She wanted to wring her own neck, to smash her head against the wall and obliterate this stupid mistake. Her mother had warned her before, had reminded her countless times.

"But Jena said her father gave it to her." She sounded like a little girl, wavering and unsure. "She said it was important."

Haerim's face collapsed. Misha had never seen that expression on her, not even in Haerim's most swollen memories that vibrated with her parents screaming across the dinner table or the repeated retching into a toilet bowl, memories she'd always dismissed.

"It was," said Haerim. "It was important to me. Why couldn't you see that?"


  1. I liked it. Good descriptive word choices. I could feel the tension between them as well as Misha's dismay when she realized she might have been wrong.

  2. I think this works really well.
    I'm curious about your story, now!

  3. I can feel the emotion here, but I don't think it works very well because it's kind of stagnant. It stays in the same place for the whole scene. Haerim is mad and Misha is confused and sorry, and they say the same things over and over, just in different ways.

    Perhaps find a way to move on to whatever comes next, or work in a rise and fall of their emotions, rather than have it being the same all the way through. At one point, Haerim shoves Misha, and you have an opportunity to escalate the emotion, but Misha doesn't react. Not physically or emtionally. She doesn't stumble backward, she doesn't tell Haerim to leave her alone. SHe doesn't shove back. She just watches a packet fall. You might use this incident to help create some tension and a possible rise in emotions.

  4. I love the crushing of the packet and Misha's mannerism as she realizes her mistakes.

    I like the idea of the neck-wringing paragraph, but something about it feels like too much to me. I feel like her desire to obliterate the mistake should come after she weakly tries to defend it.

    Otherwise, this looks great. I'd read more.

  5. Thank you, everyone, for your great help! I realized I used too many words to convey what could be said in a few. This exercise also taught me a valuable lesson about choreographing a scene's emotions! Thanks again :)