Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drop the Needle: HIGH EMOTION #10

TITLE: Stormland
GENRE: YA Science

Lena offers her foster mother money:

"Your parents would be spinning in their grave seeing you walking about like a princess. They worked for every penny they had."

Lena flushed with so much anger she wouldn't have been surprised if her body temperature raised a few degrees. "That's it. I can't wait another sixteen days to be eighteen. I'm leaving tonight."
"Lena, sugar---" Maggie's voice softened but it was too late. Lena could no longer contain all the things she had wanted to say for the last three years of living there.

"Your life really didn't turn out the way you had hoped, did it?" Lena said. "You think the only way for a woman to be successful is to sleep around? I earned my money. I worked hard to get a spot on Pop Star and to record my album. And if you must know, I'm a virgin."

"Watch your tone, child."
"What do I have to lose now? I')m on my own today or in sixteen days. Kick me out. I don't care." Lena fumbled with the clasp of her necklace.

Maggie took the necklace from Lena's hands and gently swept the hair off her neck. "Let me, sugar." She fastened the clasp. "No, my life did not turn out the way I had hoped," she said in a hushed tone. "I lived with my new husband and baby girl in the house my great grandpapa built with his own hands. I would have hoped to stay there until my Cassie was grown and me and Gregory were old and gray doing nothing but sitting on the porch swing watching the grass grow. God spared me so I could care for the little babies who didn't die. But I wish he hadn't."


  1. Vivid emotion:
    Uh... Honestly, this scene didn't really feel very emotional to me. =/ I don't know why. Maggie's random switch from whatever was at the beginning to anger to... remembering... it was too erratic. And I really didn't feel emotion from Lena at all.

    The dialogue, however, was wonderful. I loved it. Very believable, and I can see two distinct voices for Lena and Maggie. Bravo. :)

    Another nitpick was that whole necklace thing at the end. Maybe it would have made sense with more scene from before this, but at this point it just seems... random. Why is she putting on a necklace? Is it important?

    So, the emotion didn't catch me, but the dialogue did.

  2. I got that Lena was angry. What I didn't get was why. I can't tell if the opening parg is said as a rebuke, or if Maggie is thinking, "Aren't you lucky, girl!" It becomes evident in the next parg. but I should know before that.

    I think if you get rid of explanations (Lena flushed with so much anger she wouldn't have been surprised if her body temperature raised a few degrees.) it would help, because this isn't what she's thinking in the heat of the moment. Either that, or show what you're explaining. (Lena flushed and her faced burned)

    I didn't get the necklace. I wondered why she didn't just grab it and leave, and even if she did take the time to put it on, would she stand there and let Maggie help, considering how angry she is?

    And the sudden reminiscing at the end had me going "What?" Perhaps add a bit of transition to show the softening of emotions.

    Overall, I'd say Maggie's emotions are less defined than Lena's, so that might be where you'd want to focus some revision.

  3. Hi Constance & Barbara,

    Thank you for your feedback!