Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tiny Drop the Needle #8

TITLE: Untitled
GENRE: Young Adult

Talis, the MC, is waiting in the darkness with her best friend Duncan to surprise Duncan's older brother.

Talis felt the storm move in beneath the heavy darkness.

The air, thick and sticky, settled around her legs as she sat curled, compact beneath the thornbush. The wind shuttered through the leaves, like whispers, and brushed her hair across her eyes. She gathered the long dark strands in her hand and tucked them over her shoulder, tight against her chin and neck.

She sighed.

Her thighs burned and Talis could feel tiny prickles move down her calves and numbing her toes, the circulation cut off by her bent frame. She shifted, rocked back on her heels to see if her legs would straighten when she needed them to. Behind her, a twig snapped and Talis felt the sound against her back. A rough hand gripped her shoulder.

"Talis!" Duncan's voice came from her right, hushed. "Do you want to get caught?"

His fingers hurt and Talis shrugged him off.

"Of course not." she hissed back and repositioned herself until her legs stopped aching. "Are you sure he's even coming?"

"Yes, it's tonight." Duncan replied and Talis could make out his outline next to her, hunched as she was, his eyes tight and focused on the house across the road from where they hid.

They had been buried under these bushes for at least a half hour and Talis had to admit she was losing it. In fact, she hadn't been sold on coming in the first place, but Duncan was...
well, Duncan.


  1. Excellent. You hooked me. I'd definitely want to read more.

  2. I like this. I felt drawn in to the scene. The only thing that threw me was the fourth paragraph when you said "her thighs...and Talis". I would just say she since we still know that there is only one female in the scene.

    Nice writing!

  3. Um…I don’t think ‘shuttered’ is what you meant to write…lol.

    Might be better as, “…the wind shivered through the leaves, like whispers…” I love the ‘like whispers’ . Very descriptive, I think.

    Some passive voice needs fixing. Such as ‘had been buried’ and ‘hadn’t been sold’, but that is easy to change.

    There are places you could edit to improve the flow and places that need tightened. Example: ‘She shifted to work some feeling into her legs, wondering if they would ever straighten again, when a twig snapped behind her and a rough hand gripped her shoulder.”

  4. I think a lot of this could be condensed. The description of squatting under a bush seems to take too many words. Liked "whispered" though. Overall, good job.

  5. If this were a Secret Agent contest, I'd probably say, "Not hooked." The first few paragraphs felt a bit overwritten to me, and there were several lines that stuck out to me as needing polishing.

    For instance, first sentence in the fourth paragraph: "Her thighs burned and Talis could feel tiny prickles move down her calves and numbing her toes." You start off with describing the feeling itself ("Her thighs burned," which is good), but then you add unnecessary distance in the second half of the sentence with the phrase "Talis could feel." Also, if you use the same verb tense throughout, it'll read a little cleaner.

    Here's what I mean: "Her thighs burned, and prickles moved down her calves and numbed her toes."

    I realize this is still a working draft, so you're probably still smoothing. Just a few things to think about.

    Good luck!

  6. I think there is some good imagery here, but I agree that you could tighten a lot of this up. Less is more in a lot of these sentences. You do create a sense of tension and waiting which is nice, and I especially like the last bit about Duncan being Duncan - it makes me wonder what exactly that means. I'd definitley read on to find out.

  7. I think your ideas and tone our great. I agree with some of the others that you should tighten your sentences a little. Delete any adjectives and words that don't add to the story. The 2nd paragraph seems wordy to me. Great job and good luck!

  8. I got a good feel for how long they've been waiting based on your descriptions alone, so excellent job on that. The only suggestion I have is to tighten some of your sentences. Without a doubt, I'm feeling the tension, but if you were to omit some of the unnecessary adjectives, that would certainly add to it.

  9. I liked the tone and mood you set and I'm curious as to why they're hiding there and what is going to happen when Duncan's brother arrives. The story aspect works well.

    The writing is mostly passive. Cut the - Talis could feel, and Talis felt - stuff. It's her POV, so we know it's her. try to do away with as many ing words as you can and make them ed words. An active voice will put us in the bush with Talis. A passive voice puts us on the sidelines watching.