Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #10

TITLE: STAR WISHERS
GENRE: YA Fantasy

HOLLY STAR'S MOTHER IS DYING, AND HOLLY HAS FOUND A GOLDEN BOX CONTAINING A NOTE GRANTING HER THREE WISHES. SHE IS SPEAKING WITH GRACE, THE WISH GRANTOR, AND ASKING FOR A WISH THAT ISN'T USUALLY ALLOWED. GRACE ASKS HER TO JUSTIFY HER REQUEST FOR THIS WISH.

Holly collected her thoughts and looked into Grace’s eyes before speaking. “A family has to have a mother,” she began, “because a mother is what makes it a family. She makes bad things bearable. A mother always has a smile for you, even when she’s sad, and she tells you everything is going to be all right, even when she isn’t certain it will be.”

Holly could feel her throat closing up, and her voice sounded weak as she continued. “Your mother bandages your knees and takes care of you when you’re sick, even when she’s sicker than you are.” Tears trickled down Holly’s cheeks as she finished. “She would give her own life to save yours because she loves you more than anyone else in the world.”

Holly was sobbing now and her voice was barely coming out. “And because your mother loves you, no matter what you do — and she never stops loving you, because a mother’s love is forever!”

When she finished, Holly dropped her head into her hands and sobbed. “Please grant this wish, Grace.”

Grace wiped a tear from the corner of her own eye as she looked down at the young girl sitting in front of her. She folded The Official Rules for Wishes back up and placed it on top of the golden box. Holly’s hands trembled as she placed the paper back inside.

“I hope you realize what you’re wishing for, Holly” Grace said. 

 “Please grant my last wish, Grace. Please."

10 comments:

  1. I like the build up here from being sad to tears trickling to full-out sobbing. I'm wondering how old Holly is. The voice/language in the dialogue sounds more mature (to my ear) than a teen's voice. While nicely written, the dialogue in this passage doesn't sound like it emanates from a teen to me, unless perhaps it is a teen from a long-ago era (which it might be, in which case, ignore me :) I like: “I hope you realize what you’re wishing for, Holly” Grace said.

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  3. Very sweet. Holly's three paragraphs of explanation seem a bit long to me - could they be shortened a bit? Remove "a mother is what makes it a family," for example, and remove "-and she never stops loving you, because a mother's love is" (and consolidate the stuff that comes before and after these bits into a new sentence).

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  5. Wow, there is a lot of emotion here! Nice job!

    However, I didn't realize this was YA until I went back and looked. But, since it is fantasy and not contemporary, the more mature sounding voice might work. You might consider shortening it and focus on what Holly misses the most about not having her mother.

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  6. I really loved to read this. Beautiful emotion. gripping, even. But not as a YA piece; more like MG.

    I agree with Jen. The voice is very young for YA. Also, usually in YA, the parents are absent, so asking for her mom is surprising. She does not really sound like a teenager.

    However, the exchange is very nice with a smooth progression. For MG, this works so well. For YA, this is not, technically, a dialogue; it's a monologue and there is no tension, not resistance from Grace. Why?

    I'm not sure someone would say all these things that way. It's very ornamented. I suggest you change the phrasing to make the voice more naturally mature and less dramatic.
    ..."because a mother is what makes it a family. She makes bad things bearable. A mother always has a smile for you, even when she’s sad, and she tells you everything is going to be all right, even when she isn’t certain it will be.”

    This passage could sound something like, "Don't you have a mother, silly? I don't want to chose my dress for prom. I don't want to go to the gynecologist with Dad anymore. I want to be one of the kids in my class who complain about their mom nonstop. Moms do that. They make a family."
    Okay so my example might be really silly and so completely different from the voice you're aiming for, but that's more like a teenager voice.

    As Jen says, I would focus on what Holly misses the most in her mom, personally. Even if it's silly, something precise, something personal, not generic that everyone should assume. Something unique.

    But really nice writing. Love.
    Good luck

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  7. I love the sentiment in this excerpt. Be careful though of getting too wordy. Some of the ideas here are very similar and may sound repetitive, but I can see where you're going with this. I really liked how you closed it with Grace's warning because it's intriguing, like what consequence is Holly in for.

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  8. This is an odd mix of Holly sounding too young and too old for YA at the same time. For that reason it didn't quite work for me, but I do like the buildup of emotion.

    “A family has to have a mother,” she began, “because a mother is what makes it a family -- sounds younger

    A mother always has a smile for you, even when she’s sad – the last part sounds too old, too knowing

    In the first paragraph, I would cut "she began"
    I recommended using a period rather than an exclamation point.

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