Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Drop the Needle: Anger #5

TITLE: Vision
GENRE: YA Paranormal

“Shelby, I’m not doing this. You know I don’t believe in past lives.”

Why did I lead with that? I’m such an idiot. “Yeah, I get that, but there’s more. That’s just how it began. First of all, the past life was a famous murderer-Sam showed me a picture and,” she cut me off.

“Ugh, so you’ve involved Sam in this too?”

“Yes, but listen, I saw Michael following me when I was in the city. And we found a picture of you and Dad in Michael’s office with Dad’s face scratched out and,”

“For crying out loud! You went into his office? How did you get in? Oh great, so you’ve involved Celeste and Ben too. Shelby, this is absolutely unacceptable. I’ve made it perfectly clear that I don’t believe in reincarnation. For you to involve everyone we know, casting doubt on Michael’s character based on one of your visions…”

“Mom, Ben even thinks…”

“Enough, this is absolutely enough. I love Michael. I need him. There's been no one else since your father died and I won’t let you ruin this for me,” she said as she paced. “We’ve decided to elope, this weekend in fact, just the two of us. We’re leaving tomorrow. I’ve been waiting to tell you because I’ve been expecting something like this, and I was hoping to avoid it.”

“Mom, I’m sorry. I don’t want you to be unhappy. I just think something isn’t right and you should check it out before you marry him. Maybe he’s sick.”

“There’s nothing wrong with him. I think it’s time for you to look at yourself. Doesn’t it seem strange that you’d see his supposed past life the night we get engaged? Don’t you think it’s a possibility that it’s your subconscious trying to prevent something that makes you unhappy?”

This was going nowhere, she would never believe me. Guess it’s time for damage control.

“Mom, I’m sorry. You’re totally right. I don’t want a stepfather. I miss dad and it’s hard to see you with someone else, even someone as great as Michael. I’m sorry I’ve been being so selfish. It won’t happen again. I promise.”

I walked over to her and put my arms around her. “Please forgive me. Please Mom.”

She stepped back from me and folded her arms. “Okay, Shelby. Let’s try and start over. Michael doesn’t know you feel this way, so let’s keep it to ourselves, okay?”

“I’m really sorry. Please forget I said anything.”

“I’m certainly going to try.”


  1. This was pretty well written. The mother and daughter's personalities came across in the way they spoke to each other. I liked that the surface argument of what the daughter was doing led into a deeper argument about the mom getting married. I think the mother's kind of self centered by wanting to slop when she has a teenaged daughter, so it's like no wonder the daughter's getting into trouble. I just thought it was a very real situation. Good job and good luck with this.

  2. The dialogue here worked well, and I got a distinct voice for each of the characters, but I'm not sure whether I felt 'anger'. What this needs is a bit more description and internal thoughts. Some pretty significant revelations are being made here - but a lot of it flies over at the first, even second reads because the dialogue is a wall of text. It needs to be broken up a little. What are the characters doing? How are they reacting? What does anger look like on them? You're about 70% there - think about the descriptions as ornaments or embellishments.

    Good luck!

  3. A realistic exchange between mother and daughter, but all the names in this were hard to keep up with. I'm sure you've introduced them in the book, but an explanatory intro would have helped.

    I didn't get a feel for the intensity of Mom's anger. An exclamation after "This is absolutely enough!" might help, although you don't want to use too many.

    Saying something like: "As she paced, angry lines creased her brow" (you get the idea) instead of "she said as she paced" might help too.

    Some inner dialogue for the daughter would, too. Especially to let us know whether she's going to back off or is sorry she upset her mother, but is desperate to sabotage the relationship anyway.

    You could finish by Shelby noticing something about Mom, such as "The little lines were still there, but I could tell she was softening."

    "This was going nowhere, she would never believe me" is a run-on sentence. Need emotion here, too.

    Delete unnecessary words, such as: "to her" in "I walked over to her..." and "from me" in "She stepped back from me..."

  4. Mom's anger certainly comes through, but her dialogue didn't
    ring true for me. In some cases, she doesn't sound much different from a teen (and doesn't act much older either.) You might cut the 'Ugh,'in parg 3. Somehow, it doesn't seem Momlike. The same with - For crying out loud, and, Oh, great.

    And then I thought SHelby gave up too easily. Perhaps add some internal thoughts that show that she has another plan up her sleeve, or that she isn't really giving up, that way, her sudden sucking up to Mom is seen for what it really is.

    And to show someone being cut off, use the em dash - "Sam showed me pictures and-- (em dash) That says she was cut off, so you don't have to say "Mom cut me off." It's assumed. Use it also at the ends of pargs 4 and 5.