Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drop The Needle 38

Title: Bruised Fruit

Genre: Romance/mystery

I turn on the shower and hear shrieks echo off the tile. There is a large, wet man in my tub. It's Detective Mike Stanley. “Oh… s***!” I just blew Larry’s cover.

“Trish, put this on, then we’ll talk.” Detective Stanley hands me my T-shirt, and waits till I'm covered. He leads me to the edge of the bed.

"Sit." The detective demands as he paces in circles.

“I guess you heard everything.”

“I didn’t hear anything I didn’t know.” Mike dries himself from his unexpected shower.


“I’m not here to bust Larry, I helped him get immunity." Detective Stanley places the towel on the dresser. "Didn’t Larry tell you not to say ANYTHING to anyone?” Larry lied to me, he does know Mike Stanley. “Yea he did.”

“So, why'd you tell Dawn about Larry being Ethan?”

“I told her I believed Larry was Ethan, right after I met Larry. I asked her to help me find out what was going on regarding Ethan's death."

"And what was Dawn going to do?" Mike's gives a slight giggle revealing the thought of Dawn playing detective amuses him.

"Find out when Ethan died or where he is buried. Living in New Hampshire, doesn’t give me time to snoop around in New Jersey. I thought she didn't believe me until this morning, she started believing me when I didn't want her to."

"Oh, sweet irony of life, I'd spy on you and Ethan years ago to annoy you. Now I’m your matchmaker."


  1. Two nit- picks.
    1. Do men squeal?most of the cops I've known or met are more alpha-dog types which lead to the second nit
    2. DO men giggle? I think two word changes might make this character a bit more real to me (at any rate)

    shout, bellow, holler,roar

    chuckle, snigger, chortle

  2. I got tripped up on the shower scene...I thought Mike know, taking a shower; not fully dressed.

    I got the impression that Mike was older, somewhat hard-boiled from the "Sit." command, but then the 'giggle' made me think he's younger and a little full of himself.

    It was hard for me, to get a read on Mike in this piece.

  3. I too found some of the language attributed to Mike a bit confusing: shriek, giggle. It seemed kind of feminine. Otherwise, I got more of a sense of what just happened than a feel for either character.

  4. Mike's gives a slight giggle revealing the thought of Dawn playing detective amuses him.

    Everything was fine until the above phrase. That brought me to a schreeching halt. I think you need to reword this for clarity and to be concise.

    Otherwise. The characters are balanced :o)

  5. Other than Mike seeming a little feminine -- which would be fine, except I don't think you intended it -- and the whole "detective hiding in the tub" thing being unrealistic to me, Mike holds his own to Trish. The abundance of names in such a small scene left me confused, but with a couple of tweaks, I think Mike makes an interesting SC.

  6. Sorry, but the beginning totally threw me off. Your MC was going to take a shower, nude, while the detective just stood there? Because, without any transitions, that's how this comes across.

    Nor do I think the dialogue was unique enough between characters to help me fix them as "real" rather than author constructs in my head. Sorry.

  7. I too had a conflict of characterization with his squealing, then he seemed more masculine as he commanded her to sit. Then the giggle seemed out of place. I pictured him as older, and a little hardened from his dialogue, but the feminine words got me.

  8. I'm afraid I have to agree with the others. The squealing and giggling seemed out of place for a hard-boiled detective, which is what most of his dialogue led me to conjure. Unless he's an effeminate detective -- which could be a nice switch, but then most of his dialogue doesn't fit.

  9. I'm thinking Stanley is the SC.

    I didn't get a lot about his personality from this scene, but I did get a few story questions that would make me want to read more. Why is the detective hiding in Trish's shower? Why was he spying on Ethan and Trish years ago? And why is he looking into them again now?

  10. It confused me.

    I also agree with the word choice to describe the detective...giggle made me stop, and then while reading what followed, it kept me distracted.

    I think the story itself intriguing, it just needs some revision for word choice and grammatical errors which can be really distracting (see excerpt below).

    "Mike's gives a slight giggle"

    :) Terri

  11. As the others have said, the word choices convey a different meaning than perhaps you want.

    If what Mike heard is what I think Mike heard, your mc's reaction is too shallow - she just found a man in her bathroom, much less a cop? And she just takes the t-shirt and puts it on?

    We see no embarrassment from Mike - that makes me think he's jerk. Even with Mike's implied thought "revealing the thought of Dawn playing detective" (how would the mc know that's what he's thinking?) I think he's probably a voyeur and his unexpected shower was a good thing.

    If that's what you were working toward, you accomplished it.


  12. Thanks for your feedback. I edited the scene to fit the fit the 250 words. In the original scene Trish screams when she sees Mike Stanley.

    You are right about the language. I will change this. Chortle though always reminds me of pugs... :)

    Mike Stanley was friends with Trish when they were teenagers, so he isn't a total stranger to her..

    Originally I did not have Mike shrieking but someone in my writer's group, questioned if someone getting hit with water wouldn't scream or something.
    So I added that part in, I think I will go with my first hunch and remove it.

    Thanks again.

  13. I'm guessing Mike is the SC. I didn't get too much of a sense of him but he did seem like he could be an engaging character.

  14. This was a little confusing for me...

    I agree with the others that guys do not shriek. I mean, it is always funny in the movies when they do (love the 'bad guy runs screaming like a woman' moments), but in real life, they don't.

    The other thing is the interaction between the characters. Or the formalities and lack of description.

    It goes from Detective Mike Stanley to 'the detective' to Mike to Detective Stanley and back to Mike.

    Then there are spots where I don't know who is talking - Trish or Detective Mike Stanley, their voices are too similar. There is a good deal of infodumping going on in the conversation.

    And Mike sounds like a teenaged goober because of the giggle.

  15. Hmm, it was kind of hard for me to get into this and I'm not sure I got a good picture of Mike. I have to agree with Chelle's nits--I think men CAN do it, it's just a little weird seeing the words associated with that when I read the scene. :P