Wednesday, February 24, 2010

7 Talkin' Heads

EMOTION: Personality insight

Brooke is working at her aunt and uncle’s resort for the summer. Her cousin Shelby is treating Brooke as her personal chauffer since her license was suspended. Currently, they’re driving to a friend’s house so Shelby can retrieve her cell phone.

“Too bad. You probably can’t get out of work if you’re paired with Kathy. I mean Katie. You know, I can’t believe how bad I am with names.” Shelby pounded the dashboard with her fist. “It’s Candy!”

“It’s Kayla.”

“Oh yeah, right.” Shelby waved her hand frantically. “Right. You have to turn right here.”

Brooke slammed on the brakes and executed a sharp right turn.

“Where are you going?” Shelby twisted in her seat and looked out the rear window, clearly appalled.

“You told me to turn, so I did.”

“I meant you had to turn, because the road we needed was right there. But we had to go left. Really, Brooke, you should work on your listening skills.”

Sighing, Brooke pulled to the side and turned the vehicle around. They ended up on a meandering lane, with trees on one side and spacious brick lake homes on the other.

“That one,” Shelby said, and pointed.

That one had a dozen parked cars spilling off the side of the long driveway. Brooke pulled in behind the last one. “I thought your friend lived in town.”

“She does, but she called when you were talking to Dad. She rode out here with a friend.” Looking at Brooke out of the corner of her eye, Shelby added, “Maybe we shouldn’t mention that we went to a party. Not that Mom and Dad will ask, they think you’re a Girl Scout. Oh wait; you really are a Girl Scout, aren’t you? I forgot.”


  1. I like this. I have a very clear image of both of the girls and feel like I know who they are. Love the frantic hand waving and "right" being ambiguously used in that line.

    Good job.

  2. Wow! I'm impressed. I've definitely done that "right turn" thing before. I think you did a great job of characterization.

  3. Shelby's bit about not knowing the name is well done and so is the turn misunderstanding. I think you do a good job of giving us Brooke's long suffering-ness and Shelby's total self-involvedness. (I may have made both those words up)

  4. This is great! With just a few exchanges of dialogue, you've established some very solid character development. The fact that Shelby's doing most of the talking shows a lot about how these two girls relate to each other. I have a lot of sympathy for Brooke for putting up with it, but Shelby doesn't seem totally unlikable - just self-absorbed, and cheerfully oblivious of it.

  5. This is great. It read seamlessly. I love how much I know about these two characters without the narrator telling me! Good job.

  6. Excellent. All Shelby's prattle says a world about who she is, as Brooke's silence says a world about her! Very nicely done!

  7. Great keep up the good work!