Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #24

TITLE: The Evolution of Evie
GENRE: MG contemporary

    “You know the school dance is next Friday,” Marcus says at lunch the following week. “I think we should all go.”

    Danielle rolls her eyes. “School dances are lame.”

    “How do you know?” Marcus asks. “Have you ever actually been to one?” 

    “No.” Danielle takes a bite of her meatloaf, makes a face of disgust, and promptly spits it into her napkin. I have to agree. It’s not the school’s best meal.

    Marcus was smart and opted for taco salad bar instead today. His plate is already clean.

    “Exactly,” he says. “How do you know unless you go to one.”

    Danielle shrugs. “I just know.”

    Marcus turns to Chelsea. “Come on, please. Will you go with me?”

    Chelsea smirks. “Like a date?”

    “Oh please.” Marcus wads up his napkin and tosses it at her. “You know what I mean.”

    “Ooh,” Chelsea says, her smile growing wider. “I bet you were the one to send me that candy gram.” 

    Now it’s Marcus’s turn to roll his eyes.

    “Please, girl. You know I love you, but it wasn’t me.” He looks at me, his last hope. “Evie?”

    I shrug. “Um, I guess I could go. I mean, I have no idea how to dance, but it might be fun.” His face lights up and I realize that I should have put more emphasis on might. 

    “See, Danielle,” Marcus says. “Evie wants to go. She thinks it will be fun, too.”

    I hadn’t exactly said that, but oh well. If it would make Marcus happy, I’d go. 

    “Fine,” Danielle says with a sigh. “I’ll go.” 

    Marcus claps his hands together. “Yay!”

    “And you’re coming, too, Chels,” Danielle adds.

    Chelsea doesn’t argue. I think we’re all secretly a little afraid of Danielle.

 

4 comments:

  1. 1)"Marcus was smart and opted for taco salad bar instead today. His plate is already clean." - How does this move the story forward?
    2) You've got the voice of middle schoolers down pat. Tags are well-placed.
    3) A question: I realize this conversation is being critiqued for dialogue. That being said: it felt like you could have summed it up a little more quickly -- Marcus asked this one and that one and then me to the dance. I agreed, and then everyone else sort of fell into place, especially after Danielle stuck her oar in. THEN "Chelsea doesn’t argue. I think we’re all secretly a little afraid of Danielle." Which I think is a brilliant middle school moment/observation. I say this not to be rude (and I hope you understand the spirit in which it is said!!!!) but because I am noticing in my own writing where I should be cutting dialogue passes that slow the story down and where I could convey the information in a descriptive, yet more economical way.

    Good luck!

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  2. This sounds like MG, so great job!And I love the last line.
    I agree with the above comment, you may want to find ways to quicken the pace a bit by taking out any unnecessary reactions to the conversation.

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  3. Ha! No one likes their food today (see entry 27)

    You have the voice down! But I agree that a few parts drag.

    This line threw me "Marcus says at lunch the following week." Is this conversation taking place in the future? I think juxtaposed to the dance next week makes it harder to grasp too.

    "I have to agree. It’s not the school’s best meal." This threw me a bit too. "I nodded in agreement" or something and cut the second sentence.

    The part about the salad could be combined with the next sentence.
    “Exactly,” he says though a mouthful of taco salad. Or "he says as he finishes his taco salad"

    This line sounded off. “Please, girl. You know I love you, but it wasn’t me.” She was smirking and smiling, she was obviously teasing. His response might more of the 'in your dreams' or 'you wish' variety.

    This line isn't necessary: "I hadn’t exactly said that, but oh well. If it would make Marcus happy, I’d go." She's repeating what she just thought.

    Is something happening at the dance….. :)

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  4. I agree wit the comments above--both compliments and constructive criticisms.

    You've certainly got the dialog moving along.

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