Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Drop the Needle: Anger #6

TITLE: Man Maid
GENRE: Contemporary Romance

Sadie has just received a phone call from her biggest rival telling her one of her employees is actually a private investigator working for him.

She could hear nothing but the pounding of her heart. Felt only the urge to hit back, to hurt like she'd been hurt. The urge grew as she stormed down the hall to the kitchen where the guys were gathered, restocking for the afternoon cleanings. She saw no one but Wyatt as he emerged from the storage room. The smile crossing his lips fell away quickly.

"You f****** lying bastart! You lied to me."

She sensed the guys shrinking back but the look on Wyatt's face made it impossible for her to stop. The brief look of shock collapsed into knowing guilt.

"You damn liar!" Her hand reached for the nearest object, a bottle of glass cleaner, and it went sailing through the air directly at his damn lying face.

"Whoa!" someone yelled as Wyatt ducked the missile before it crashed into the wall.

Josh grabbed her arm. "Stop it."

She twisted viciously out of his grasp. Any sense lost. The urge to hurt him, to strike back was overwhelming. He'd spied on her guys. Lied to them. They'd welcomed him and he lied to them. The fury boiled over and she rushed at him. He made no move to defend himself.

"You f****** spy! You don't get to quit. You're fired. Get out. Get off my property right now."

He raised his hands. "Sadie, let me explain."

The sight of her company shirt on him sparked her fury higher. She grabbed a fistful of his shirt and twisted hard enough to pull him off balance."Get this off. Take it off and get the hell out of here before I call the police."

She was screaming. She knew this. She could feel the rasp of it in her throat and hear the echoes of it. Saw the stuned faces in her peripheral vision, but she couldn't stop. The idea of Marcus Canard laughing at her enraged her. Laughing at her stupidity. Strong arms came from behind her, enclosing her.

"Let go of him." Josh's voice was calm and commanding in her ear. The anger broke and she slumped back in his arms.


  1. Almost. I think there is a bit too much 'telling' mixed in with some really great description. You describe the scene perfectly in one sentence, then "tell" what happened in the next. You can cut out about 1/4th of what you have and make it really strong. The dialogue is great and the emotion/tension is good. It doesn't really build, but then again, she's angry and it's well done.

  2. Oh, she's mad, alright! Overall, a good scene. Lots of action (threw bottle, twisted viciously, rushed at him, grabbed his shirt, screamed) with just a little telling.

    Need to tag "You f****** lying bastart! You lied to me" because the last person you mentioned was Wyatt. (Did you mean to say "bastart"?)

    Could delete "ing": She sensed the guys shrink back.

    Show, don't tell: The brief look of shock collapsed into knowing guilt.

    I'd say "She reached," instead of "Her hand reached."

    Suggest: ..."as Wyatt ducked the missile, which crashed into the wall."

    "Any sense lost" stopped me. Do you mean "All sense lost"? I'd just delete.

    Change "him" to "Wyatt" in: "The urge to hurt him..." since you just mentioned Josh.

    Could combine: "She knew she was screaming."

    Stunned is misspelled.

    Put in a separate paragraph or at the beginning of the next one: "Strong arms came from behind her, enclosing her."

  3. I'll address the anger in just a sec, but first, I had a bit of confusion with this: she stormed down the hall to the kitchen where the guys were gathered, restocking for the afternoon cleanings. She saw no one but Wyatt.

    At first I thought she was going where many people were, but when she saw only Wyatt, I thought maybe it usually had many people, but right now only Wyatt was there, or the others were still in the store room. At any rate, I was pulled from the story trying to get the logistics straight in my mind.

    The anger is palatable. But I couldn't help wondering if she was overreacting. Maybe that's what you're going for. The thing is, she sounds like the boss, I wonder how tough minded she is, how in control of her work environment she is if she flies off the handle so completely in front of her workers.

    There was one line of her internal monologue that suggests she's as much enraged for her workers as she is for herself. I'd think she'd tell them, get them on her side, prompt them to share her anger.

    But clearly, as a scene showing anger, this does the trick. Absolutely.

  4. ACK! Palpable! Palpable, not palatable. Sorry.

  5. Well, she certainly is angry, but I found myself questioning it. SHe gets told the bad news and immediately flies off the handle, and without taking any time to think or calm down she acts, and I question the ability of a person like that to be successful. If she is that type of person, then this is done well. But if she isn't, (has this happened before when she got angry, do other characters know they better watch out for her when she gets angry) then you may want to rethink it.

    Parg 1 - She could hear//she heard.

    Cut the last few sentences in that parg to- She stormed down the hall, saw WYatt emerge from the storage room. The smile on his face fell away.

    Parg 2 - bastart/bastard

    Parg 3 - The other guys shrank back and Wyatt's shock collapsed to guilt.

    Parg 4. SHe reached for a bottle of glass cleaner and flung it (she has to throw it before it can go sailing through the air) at his lying face.

    Parg 5 - Wyatt ducked the missile AND it crashed into the wall.

    Parg 6. Josh grabbed her arm. "Whoa, stop it."

    Parg 7 ALL sense lost to the overwhelming urge to hurt him, to strike back. I'd cut the rest of the parg, since it waters down her rage.

    Parg 8 - After "You F-ing spy' you could add what you cut from the previous parg. and put it in dialogue. "You spied on my guys. Lied to them. They welcomed you and you lied to them." Then follow it with "You don't get to quit etc.

    Parg 10 - Cut - of his shirt.
    hard enough to pull him off balance- change to - until she pulled him off balance

    Parg 11 - cut the whole thing. Again, it takes away from her rage and the building tension.

    Parg 12 - The anger broke//HER anger broke.

  6. I agree, this is almost there! The pacing and phrasing is spot-on for the genre. I have some suggestions, take or leave as you will:

    I think you can cut this:
    >"You f****** lying bastart! You lied to me."

    She sensed the guys shrinking back but the look on Wyatt's face made it impossible for her to stop. The brief look of shock collapsed into knowing guilt.<

    Because the "You damn liar!" which comes after feels like a repeat. The "guys shrinking back" seemed vague since the guys aren't named.

    There are some spots where the "telling" can be eliminated, like cutting the word viciously, since the "any sense lost" sort of shows that desperation. Can you show us overwhelming? Like she raises her fist, ready to strike, but pulls back at the last second. Then you can go with the "He'd spied on her guys" (though I would state who these guys are--her crew? can you name them or are there too many?)

    I really like the visual of her seeing the company shirt on him and grabbing it. I almost like that in place of the dialogue before it. Maybe she could see that, grab him, and tell him to get off her property. The swearing seems a bit overkill, while the physical stuff feels more engaging.