Wednesday, February 24, 2010

28 Talkin' Heads

TITLE: Second Chances

Whitney has left her abusive mother behind in MS and is now enrolled at Penn State. She never looked back and has promised herself she will find a normal life, she will no longer be damaged. With the help of her roommate, Casey, Whitney is making friends.
In this scene, Wes (longtime friend of Casey and the head coach's son), Casey and Whitney are playing a game of truth or dare in the dorm foyer. Whit's never played, but the truths are telling too many of her secrets- so it's her turn.. and she's picked "dare".

“Ok, You asked for it.” Casey smirked.

I was afraid of that.

“You have to try and sneak Wes into our room, tonight, before curfew.” She whispered and laughed as she looked around.

“WHAT!” I squirmed in my chair. “Do you want me to get kicked out?”

“You won’t get kicked out. It’s Wes, for crying out loud. His dad will bail you out.” She said sarcastically.

I rolled my eyes at her. What a mess. I closed my eyes and looked at Wes. He was whispering to Casey and she was laughing. My cheeks involuntarily flushed.

“Alright, fine, Wes… I guess follow me.” I stood up and reached my hand for his. I looked around… no one was looking our way.

Maybe this would be easier than I thought.

I didn’t like getting in trouble, I never skipped school. I never got into any real trouble at home.

I sighed heavy.

“Don’t worry, you won’t get in trouble… I bet we won’t even make it up the stairs.” Wes teased.

“Don’t get me fired-up, I’m already annoyed.”

“Fired up?” he raised an eyebrow and let out a laugh.

“Stop! Please don’t antagonize me… you’re not making this any better. I could seriously throw up. I’ve never broken any rules, ever.”

He pulled me close to his waist, and looked deep in my eyes. He was looking at me so intently that I felt hypnotized.

He started to brush my hair with his hand, “Calm down, it’s fine. It’s just a dumb game.”


  1. Since there wasn't an emotion up top, I wasn't really sure what you were going for. I think overall there's promise in this scene, but the typos tripped me up, to be honest...

    First sentence: "you" shouldn't be capitalized, and I think you want a comma inside the quote, not a period.

    Same thing about the comma/period in the second and fourth lines of dialogue. You actually do this with most of the lines of dialogue in this scene; you probably want to change most of them.

    Technically, "alright" isn't a word, it's "all right"...

    "I didn't like getting in trouble, I never skipped school." This is a comma splice.

    "I sighed heavy." Do you mean "heavily?"

    "Fired-up" the way you do it the second time, without the dash, is right, IMO.

    The line about throwing up is good characterization.

    Last line, after "hair with his hand"--that comma shoudl be a period.

  2. You use a lot of adverbs that could be taken out:

    "She said sarcastically."
    "I sighed heavy."

    Let the dialogue carry the emotion so that the adverbs are unnecessary.

    Also, it's a bit redundant when you say he "looked deep in my eyes. He was looking at me so intently."

  3. Are you sure this is YA since this happens at college?

    I wouldn't do WHAT in all caps, and it should have a ? instead of a !

    The part about her getting in trouble, you've used the word trouble in two consecutive sentences...try to shake it up.

    I dint' like the sentence, "I've never broken any rules, ever."
    Could you instead say, "I don't break rules. Ever." (Say yours out loud "I have never...ever)

    Good luck. It does make you wonder if they'll get away with it.

  4. I think you create some good tension here and I wonder if they'll get caught and I watnt to know more about the realationship between Wes and Whitney. You do need to edit this a little. The part I noticed was you capitalized the She on your tag "she said sarcastically." I also have read that you should avoid using adverbs in dialogue tags. The dialogue itself should convey the emotion.

  5. By the way--I should have edited the typos out of my comment. Sorry.

  6. The dialogue is fine, but the other words through me off.

    When Whitney's friend says she won't get in trouble because of Wes's dad, I would think she was being serious, not sarcastic. Given what little I know about these characters, it seems like it'd be true.

    Judging by the rest of the scene, it didn't seem like Wes and Whitney had a close relationship, so I was suprised to see him smoothing her hair at the end of the scene. If they have a closer connection, I would expect to see signs of it all along, especially since he's the object of the dare.

    The thing that threw me off the most, however, was when Whitney closed her eyes and looked at Wes. How could she see him with her eyes closed? ;)

    Like I said, though, I think the dialogue itself was good.

  7. It may be because she's lacking in social experience, but your MC sounces stilted here. Also, there's a bit of repetition between the dialogue and prose; 'getting in trouble'. see if you can rephrase to avoid that.

    Hope this helps!