Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drop the Needle: HIGH EMOTION #25

TITLE: Air Pirates
GENRE: YA sci-fi/fantasy

Hagai (not a pirate) has been flying with Sam (pirate) to find his missing mother. Sam recently rescued him from Savage (really mean pirate), where Hagai learned that Sam's been lying to him this whole time. Sam's mad because Hagai stole the stone from him.

Hagai said, "You trusted me? I left my job, my home, my friends. I've been nearly killed,"--he tried to count--"like a hundred times because of you and that stone."

"How is that my fault?"

"Because I trusted you! Fitch trusted you too, and you killed him." Sam started to correct him, but Hagai stopped him. "Or let him die, or whatever, I don't care! You act all good and nice, but that's all it is--a piking act. All you care about is the stone. As far as I've seen, you and Savage are the same."

It was the first time Hagai had seen Sam speechless. He looked as if he might kill Hagai, which he undoubtedly could with little trouble.

Hagai didn't really care. "Would you even have bothered rescuing me if I hadn't shouted back in that cell?"

Sam gritted his teeth. "Nay. I came for the stone, not piking mercs."

"Fine. Give me my bag, and I'll go."

"I ain't your wet nurse, shaver. You want your nappy? Get it yourself."

"You . . . you left it?" Hagai clenched his fists. It was enough that Sam mocked him, lied to him. Now he'd left Hagai with nothing. His money, his clothes, even the book Dorsey had given him--gone.

"What, you gonna wet now, Maggie? It's a blessing your mammy can't see you."

"Shut up!"

Hagai leapt forward, his good hand flying towards Sam's chin. Sam knocked his fist aside easily, then mashed Hagai's face and shoved him into the mud. By the time Hagai pulled himself up, Sam was aboard the ship, the rope pulled up behind him.


  1. I think you did a pretty good job with the emotions in this excerpt. It confused me a bit with Sam calling Haggai Maggie, but other than that it was pretty clear. I liked Haggai's inner thoughts about how he knew Sam had superior strength and all.

  2. The emotions were decent. Not amazing, but I knew what everyone was feeling. The dialogue was a little confusing, though. I agree with Melody about the "Maggie" thing. That was odd.
    Overall, though, I liked this. It was good.

  3. In the first couple paragraphs, I thought their names were repeated too often. It's important to be able to tell who's who, but I felt constantly mentioning their names took out any emotion those couple of paragraphs might've had.

    I especially liked the later paragraphs where their names weren't even mentioned becau it was established who was speaking.

    Maybe find some other way to let the reader know who's who without repeating their name in every sentence. Because when you start doing that in the last paragraph again, it seems to zap the emotion out. Even though I know there should be excitement there since these two got into a fight.

  4. Thanks for the comments so far. VERY helpful.

    Apologies for the unusual words (Maggie, piking, pretty much everything Sam says). There's a lot of slang in this world, and I didn't want to explain it all in the lead-in. It was really hard to find a scene in the middle that would make sense without the beginning :-)

    If it helps, "Maggie" is a general insult, but one that Hagai gets called often for various reasons (not the least of which is the similarity to his actual name).

  5. I liked this and I thought the emotion came through okay. I did think they were on an airship rather than the ground, but that's due to coming in in the middle.

    The dialogue worked great, but the narrative in between was clunky. It's telling and took me out the story. You could cut it, I think, without losing anything, or rewrite so it's showing.