Friday, March 23, 2007

New Beginning 244

Jenna knew she was in trouble when Will called asking for a favor, especially one that he needed to request in person on a Friday. As if she had no plans for the weekend. The fact that she did not have plans other than working for the weekend was beside the point. They’d been friends too long for her to ignore whatever he wanted now. So rather than ignore his latest scheme, she disregarded her better judgment and promised to make time for him. She scanned her desk and sighed, frustrated for having allowed him to distract her from the mounds of pleadings that littered her desk and whose deadlines were rapidly approaching.

“Will, I really don’t have time for this.”

She barely kept a civil tone. He kept shifting his weight from one foot to the other, something he only did when excited. Worse, after ten minutes he was still working up to the point.

"Will, really, are you going to tell me what you want?" He was jiggling up and down like an excited schoolchild; she was all but ready to get up from her desk and strangle him.

"This is kind of awkward," he said, blushing. "I . . . Ah . . . I was wondering if I could borrow some of your underwear?"

Jenna looked up at him, her mouth wide open. She thought she knew everything about Will. "What?"

He glanced away, reluctant to meet her gaze. "It's . . . It's just that I've been wearing this thong of yours ever since Mary found it under the car seat, and frankly, it's getting a bit ripe."

Opening: King's Falcon.....Continuation: Anonymous


Bernita said...

"he was still working up to the point."
I think that describes the principal problem with this snippit.

Anonymous said...

Delete that whole entire first paragraph and any similar paragraph which lurks in your novel. Make a rule never ever to explain the significance or concequences of a point until after it has been made, if then. Write that on a sticky note and attach it to your monitor.

Try this type of structure:
He makes a point: I want X.
She responds: On my weekend? Ha! Never!! You're forgetting your lowly place in my life, Bud! Although I might relent, if you bring the lobsters and I can wear my worst leather corset...

Marissa Doyle said...

The first paragraph is too long and too repetitive--and why put in the line "So rather than ignore his latest scheme..." and tell about her agreeing to it, then going and showing it?

Bernita's right--this is mostly throat clearing. Just jump right into the action and feed in the bits about her not having a life during their conversation.

Robin S. said...

I'm thinking this opening might need to be pared down. A good opening sentence for you might be the line of dialogue:

“Will, I really don’t have time for this.”

Then combine some of the information from the first and third paragraphs, to show her mental preparation/background, for the meeting this is coming in the next paragraph.

I think Bernita's right - and this feels like a warmup. But you could reframe it easily by rearranging and cutting a few things. Hope this helps.

Contination was a good one.

Anonymous said...

Bernita, you have the opposite gift. You get a lot of mileage out of few words.

I think Bernita is right. All those words just to say Will wants a favor but she's a busy woman.

And is Will some kind of dolt? He's like a child, can't stand still?

I'm pretty curious about what the big favor is but I don't think I'd read through pages of this to find out.

Robin S. said...

I've seen men like this - that are jittery and do things like shift their weight from side to side, or, when sitting, bounce a knee repetitvely, without even knowing it. It's like their bodies grew up but their brains remain in a 12 year old state of nervous stasis.

A good physical, tangible sign of immaturity.

Looks like the author is working to describe this guy as an immature, unaware person.

Maybe just reconfigure the description so it flows more easily.

Unknown said...

Thanks all. The continuation was good.

He's very nervous and about to ask her something that might end thier friendship. His is immature. Despite the day job, she's not going to cut him off right away.

At least the personalities seemed to come through.

Time to trim.

Kanani said...

Okay, so you're explaining things.
Now you need to find the most effective way of showing Jenna's impatience with Will.

Break down your writing, go through and get rid of the repetition in words and cut to the chase. You're providing lots of info that can be shown later like: she had no plans other than working, they'd been friends for a long time.

Tell me what happens and work the rest in later, if you need it.

Jenna could tell that it was another one of his schemes. Will tried to avoid eye contact with her, shifting his weight from side to side as he detailed the latest plan to make money. Jenna looked at the pile of papers on her desk. Her deadlines were past.

"Will, I don't have time for this. Get to the point," she said. She didn't care about her tone. Jenna was annoyed because she knew she should have written him off years ago. But she couldn't.

Wonderwood said...

I agree with the previous comments, less explaining, more showing. Kanani's rewrite nailed it pretty well, I thought. Keep whittling on it, you've got a vision, make it easy for us to see it.

McKoala said...

To me this just took too long to go nowhere.

The continuation was grossly brilliant.