Thursday, January 12, 2012

Drop the Needle #22

TITLE: Pulse
GENRE: YA Contemporary

Jessica ran away from a lock down boot camp school. Unable to reach her boyfriend (Connor) with whom she has a toxic relationship, she calls his best friend (Grayson) who she knows "had" a crush on her. Grayson has just picked her up.

“Thank you,” Jessica said. “You’re a life saver.”

“I’d say anytime, but I’m not too sure I want to make being your hero a habit. It’s kinda supposed to be Connor’s job, isn’t it?” There was a slight edge to his tone.

“He wasn’t available.”

“He’s been a total pain in the a** while you’ve been gone.”

Jessica laughed. “That bad, huh?”

“S***, I’m glad you’re back so he’ll stop being such a whiny b****. Do you know what a bastard it’s been, him giving everyone updates on how you’re doing or babbling on and on about the cute things you say when he calls or gushing about how amazing you looked when he came to see you, not that I have any doubt that you looked as incredible as he said you…” He blushed. “Anyway, I’m glad you’re coming home, even if it is for Connor.”

She felt herself growing hot, too. “I didn’t mean…”

Grayson shook his head. The new sunlight danced across the golden streaks in his dark hair and brought out the olive spindles in his hazel eyes. “I wasn’t trying to make you feel bad. I get why you chose him.”


“Connor always gets what he wants. You’ve probably heard him say that like a million times, right?”

She smirked. “Maybe once or twice.”

“I don’t know why you need so much reassurance, Jessica. He knows how lucky he is.” There was a jealous edge to his tone that made her feel horrible. She didn’t know how to respond, so she stared out her window.


  1. The point of view seems to jump a bit. You have "He blushed..." and then "She felt herself growing hot, too." Try to streamline the pov: She might notice his voice sounding a certain way, but she wouldn't know he blushed since they're not able to see each other while talking on the phone.

    IMHO, it would end better without her staring out the window. "She didn't know how to respond" is stronger.

    It sounds like a compelling story!

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  3. Oops, miswrote something. This is very good - I'm being nitpicky here. Mostly what I find missing is more information about the characters' emotions. This is a dramatic and I suspect pivotal scene.

    Grayson gives a pretty long monologue. Can you shorten/break it up with more action? Is he trying to act casual or is he banging his fists on the wheel? He cusses a lot - is that normal or because he's in a perturbed state? If the latter, Jessica should react to it more. Be annoyed, distressed....or..

    "Growing hot" can be interpreted in more than one way.

    I know what eye spindles are, but then, I'm a biologist. I suspect most teenagers would be thrown by that.

    I want to know Jessica's emotion when she says, "Oh?" Is she resentful? Amused?

    I didn't see Jessica asking for reassurance - maybe it happened earlier?

    She felt horrible in what way? Guilt?

  4. I think I missed the revelation here - is it that Connor likes her? Or maybe that she has feelings for him? I think I missed the reveal. Maybe this would be resolved by adding more internalization and emotions as the previous commenter suggested.

    Otherwise, I didn't see any issues with the POV - its clear that its Jessica, imo.

    And the dialogue sounded real, which is hard to do so good job! The only sentence which stood out to me was "the new sunlight danced.." because I was having a hard time understanding what you meant by "new". I suppose that means its morning but it sounded awkward to me.

    Thank you for sharing and best of luck with your MS!

  5. I didn't see the reveal, either. The blurb says she knew Jason liked her. Perhaps it's that Connor does appreciate her and she didn't think he did?

    I did think the new sunlight sentence was a bit much. It seemed overdone. And I wasn't sure in which context you were using 'hot'

    I would have liked to have felt a bit more emotion on Jessica's part. You tell us she laughed, and smirked, and felt horrible. Perhaps show those things in some way through her actions.