Wednesday, February 24, 2010

19 Talkin' Heads

TITLE: Rockabilly Romance
GENRE: YA Romance
EMOTION: Indifference, rudeness form the main character.

Main Character, Jenna, is snubbing the new boy, but her best friend, Mercy, is trying to get her interested in him.

“I see you met Mister Cutie Pants,” Mercy said with a grin when I slid into the seat next to her. She was looking toward the lunch line. I followed her gaze to Tom.

“The new guy?”

“Yes, the new guy! Don’t tell me you didn’t notice his hotness.”


“Jenna, you need help.”

Don’t I know it. “He’s alright. I guess I didn’t really pay much attention. We met in the library.”

“Ahh, so you were engrossed in a book. Of course! Book or cute guy.” Mercy lifted her hands like a pair of scales, one tipping lower than the other. “Jenna chooses…book.”

Tom set his tray down across from me and took his seat.

“Hey, Tomas,” Mercy said, nudging my side.

“Hello, ladies,” he said picking up a slice of pizza and taking a bite. The cheese clung to his lip and made a tight rope back to the slice. He wound it around his finger and stuck it in his mouth. Surprisingly the gesture wasn’t unattractive. He was pretty nice to look at, I supposed. “Easy on the formalities, Merc. I don’t want to—wait, doughnuts? That’s all you’re eating?” he asked, turning to me.

“Uh, yeah.” Nobody had ever commented on my lunch before. Except Kate. And mom, when Kate told mom.

“Noted,” Tom said. He grabbed an apple from his tray and set it down in front of me and smiled.

“I’m not eating that.”

“What she means,” Mercy said, looking from me to Tom, “is that she’s not hungry, but thanks anyway.”


  1. I like this scene and I do think you accurately convey the emotion you stated. Having said that, I feel like Tom gets from the lunch line to the table really fast and I think you use the word "said" more often than necessary. For example, you could change:

    “Hey, Tomas,” Mercy said, nudging my side.


    Mercy nudged my side. “Hey, Tomas.”

    Also (some minor things)...Mom is always capitalized when it is a proper name (ie, can be replaced by Susan) and gerunds (verbs ending in "ing") should only be used when an action is continuous. If the action happens once and then ends (ie, took a bite of pizza) you should use the regular form of the verb.

  2. I really liked this! The flow seemed natural and I liked the inner dialogue Jenna had.

    One thing that put me off was Tom's "Hello, ladies." I don't really hear high school guys, and if they do, it sounds kind of patronizing.

    Mercy and Jenna were very likeable, and the rudeness was subtle enough that I still liked Jenna. Nice! :)

  3. (er, I meant, "I don't really hear high school guys say that...")

  4. These sounds like believable teens to me and the indifference and rudeness come through just fine. The debate between the book and the guy made me chuckle.

    My one suggestion would be to do away with the 'she said with a grin' - speaking while grinning isn't the easiest thing. Try: She grinned as I slid into the seat... If the dialouge were moved after she grins to break things up a little, that would also help make the next line more active with: She looked toward...

  5. I thought this was great. I wouldn't change a thing. the dialogue seemed realistic to me. I knew sauve guys in HS who would say, Hello ladies. :D And they'd say it with a grin, too.

    Anyway, good job. One of my favorites.

  6. I like this. Mercy's indifference is clear--but I don't really believe she's all that indifferent...;)

    I didn't like the "Hello, Ladies," either. It just seems like a more guy thing to say would be "Hey" or "What's up?". JMHO though.

  7. I liked this a lot and the dialog was natural. The Hello Ladies didn't bug me at all. If that's the kind of guy he is then it works. Nicely done!!

  8. This was really good. I loved the "hands like a pair of scales" description. Spot on.

    "Hello Ladies" didn't bother me either. I taught high school for many years. There were always guys who talked like that. Very suave.

    Very realistic friend interaction too. Mercy trying to cover for Jenna's rudeness was a nice touch.

    Good job!

  9. I really enjoyed this. I think the dialogue sounds very real, including the "Hello ladies." The only part where I got a little confused was when Tom said "Easy on the formalities..." when no one else had spoken.

    I definitely got Jenna's disinterest, and I was interested in why she was so disinterested! I thought all three characters came across as unique and i could tell them apart. I loved Jenna's inner dialogue. Great job!

  10. Mercy's dialogue is great. It does a wonderful job of drawing as a bubbly, friendly, somewhat pushy character. The MC a little less clear. Tomas is good, except maybe lose the 'wait' before mentioning the donuts. It's a bit more spontaneous without it.

    Hope it helps!