Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Drop the Needle #10

TITLE: Strife in Heliconia
GENRE: NA Fantasy

In the middle of the novel, the romantic leads give each other freedom to pursue what they think will make them happy. This choice means living in different worlds and probably never seeing each other again.

...“I’m trying to memorize what you look like,” Brooke said.

“You look the same right now as when I first saw you,” Taego said, “with the sun behind you… you’re beautiful.”

His words almost threatened her resolve. The air was beginning to warm up, and Taego would have to start his trip before it got too hot.

“I’m glad I met you,” Taego said. Emotion choked his words.

Brooke’s throat felt dry. “You should go, if you’re going,” she said, disentangling herself from Taego’s grasp before climbing out of the hole they had made. Taego followed her. Brooke watched the dirt fill back into the hole instead of looking at him.

“I’m not going to not say goodbye to you,” Taego said, taking Brooke’s hand.

“Figure out how to send messages back. Let me know how you’re doing.”

“Brooke. Will you look at me?” Taego asked. She did. “I promise I’ll keep in contact with you.” He brought both her hands up to his mouth and kissed them. Then he leaned toward her, hesitating. Brooke closed her eyes, and Taego kissed her forehead.

“Swear you’ll take care of yourself?” Brooke asked.

Taego nodded. Moving his lips to Brooke’s ear, he said, “You’ll always be my mate.”

Brooke opened her eyes and watched Taego pick up his sack and begin to walk away.

“Taego,” Brooke said, and he turned. “I’m glad. I mean…thank you for being my mate.”

Taego lifted his hand in goodbye before ascending into a barren, blue sky.


  1. A touching moment, though I found the dialogue to be a little bit cliched. Good overall.

  2. I agree it was touching and the stakes (they are being separated!) are pretty clear.

    But I also agree it is a little cliche. Are there more specific, telling details you could include to really make this stand out?

    Also, watch for words that blunt the emotion, like "almost threatened her resolve." It sounds like it did threaten her resolve. In the end, the resolve resisted the threat, but do you see what I mean? Saying "almost" softens things.

    Hope this helps! :)

  3. I think this scene is both rushed and overwritten. Sounds contradictory, I know!

    Rushed, in that you have summed up their parting in 250 words. I'm assuming this is a significant part of the story and I'd like to be immersed in the moment more.

    Overwritten, in that you seem to be focusing on things they are saying, rather than feeling. Added to this, a lot of the dialogue seems forced/unrealistic/cliché.

    Make me feel what the separating couple are feeling and you will have a great scene.

    One other thing - "Brooke watched the dirt fill back into the hole" How? Did Taego fill it back in - give me a little more description of where they are, what's around them. This paragraph was the first time I realised they were in a hole in the ground this may be covered earlier in your story). Did they crawl out covered in dirt, smell 'earthy', have insect bites? More to help me visualize would be good.

  4. For me, the dialogue felt disjointed. They're just saying things that someone might say in that situation, but they're not really replying to what the other person said.

    I agree with KayC in that you could focus more on their feelings and emotions than their words. What are they feeling and thinking?

  5. The conversation tags in each line of dialogue bothered me. 'Brooke said', 'Taego said', in nearly every line. There are only two characters in the scene, so the back and forth dialogue is not hard to follow. Consider removing most of the tags.

    Also consider cutting the modifiers, "almost" threatened and "begin to" walk away. They weaken the action described.

    Finally, there isn't much tension in this sequence. Both of them seem regretful, but they exchange this flimsy, emotionless farewell. Didn't he hold her hand a little too long? Didn't she feel a tear well up? Even after he calls her beautiful, she says nothing in return. Consider making this parting way more painful for them.