Thursday, May 31, 2012

Amusing Excerpt 4

Actual (or not) amusing (or not) excerpts from (or not from) minions' WIPs. If you have constructive criticism or unadulterated praise, feel free to comment.


I stood in front of the mirror dressed in my dad’s best button up shirt and pants, wishing my brother were here to save me the trouble of having to kick my own ass.

Gus stepped into the room and dropped the keys to his Lincoln on my dresser. “Don’t even think about bringin’ her back empty.” Then he looked me up and down with his eyebrows raised. “Well now, don’t you look spiffy!”

“Spiffy? Seriously Gus is that even a word?”

“Sure it is. It means…well now, I don’t know what it means. You look good is what I’m tryin’ to say.”

“Thanks.” I picked up the keys and my wallet and slid them into my pocket.

“So who are you bringin’ to this shindig?” Gus asked.

I let the word “shindig” go and answered him. “So far it’s Jeb, his sister Bekka and her friend Morgan.” I still held out hope for Sarah, praying that Spenser would drop dead before the dance due to some humiliating accident involving his tights.

Gus rubbed the back of his neck and looked like he might be sick. “Have a seat son. There’s somethin’ I’ve been meanin’ to talk to you about.”

I sat on the end of the bed as my mind ran down every ailment he’d ever complained about and assigned each one a terminal illness. “Whatever it is, just tell me straight out. I can take it.”

He sat down next to me and put his hand on my knee. “Son…there comes a time in every young man’s life when he finds himself alone with a girl—” 

--Heellisgoa

12 comments:

Dave Fragments said...

I'm only an uncle. I can RUN AWAY from those questions and send the to Mommy and Daddy.

Just like diapers, run away.
{wink, wink}

Ezzie said...

"...wishing my brother were here to save me the trouble of having to kick my own ass."

I lol'd. That's a great line. Hehehe.

vkw said...

There's some cleverness to this and I am interested but it's a bit long.

I'd cut the shingig part because it adds nothing.

I want to know who Gus is. If he is dad then wouldn't he say something like, "you look spiffy in my clothes." or "that suit fits you well."

I'd read on.

BuffySquirrel said...

I thought this was a good scene. Very believable interactions between the characters.

Maureen said...

I still held out hope for Sarah, praying that Spenser would drop dead before the dance due to some humiliating accident involving his tights.

heehee, I really like your MC's voice. And aw, I wish it could have gone on. Bet that conversation between the two of them is worth a read ;)

AA said...

Good. I like this. Good voice and good humor.

heellisgoa.com said...

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. This definitely was a fun novel to write.

Tk said...

I like Gus. You get a real feel for both characters, which is great!

sarahhawthorne said...

I thought this was a good scene. Loved the lines about fraternal ass kicking, death-by-tights, and terminal ailments.

I feel like what it's missing is a sense of purpose in your narrator. Gus has a clear goal - to give the sex talk - but the narrator is pretty passive. So there's no real conflict in the scene.

Is he jittery and delaying his exit? Is he eager to get going? And when Gus comes in and wants to talk, is the narrator glad for the distraction? Frustrated by the interruption?

The more specific you can be about what your narrator is feeling, the more invested we'll be in him and his relationship with Gus.

heellisgoa.com said...

@sarahhawthorne_

Thanks so much for the detailed feedback! In my novel the conflict comes after this particular bit of dialogue. But I agree with you that when read as is, it is lacking in conflict enough to keep the reader interested.

Jo-Ann said...

I really liked this. Good voice, good humour. My only nit is that I have no idea whether Gus is the step-father, uncle, foster-carer, resident ghost or hallucination.

Kudos for not providing an info dump about Gus' relationship with kid. Slap on wrist for not providing a preamble answering the question.

PLaF said...

Sarah, you hit the nail on the head. I couldn't figue out what was bugging me about this scene. Now my eyes are opened and I have to go back and rewrite something I wrote last week.