Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tweaser TWednesday

Okay, so I wasn't sure I was going to do a snippet this week but seeing as everyone else in the teaser group posted late this week, I will go ahead and put up some of my new WIP. It's a YA something fantasy (paranormal or urban, still figuring out the differences). This is about the middle of the first chapter. Jessa is the main character, Dawn is her best friend who always seems to get her into trouble, and that's really about all you need to know for this excerpt.


“Wanna sip?” Dawn waved her steaming drink under my nose as if one sniff would fix me. Because, in her eyes, I had issues if I didn’t indulge in the same things as her.

“I’m fine, just finished my DP, thanks.” I held my empty drink up and waved it right back at her.

“Hey, did ya win?”

Win? I blinked at Dawn, waiting to see if my brain would make some sense to her words. I wasn’t a morning person, and was about to blame my lack of understanding on the fact my head was still blanketed in the heavy fog of sleep. She then pointed to my cup and I followed her finger.

“Oh.” I shrugged and readjusted my grass-green backpack over my shoulder. “No idea. Want to do the honors?” I glanced at the time blinking blue on the face of my cell. “Crap, I’m gonna be late.” In mid throw of my cup to trash can, Dawn snatched it from my hand and gave me a mom-worthy scowl.

“Hey! What are you doing? You never know when luck will find you.” She pulled at one of her keys from her dangling key-chain on the zipper of her backpack and scratched the gold peel from the side of the cup. Small specks of gold drifted to the gray carpet of the floor like pencil shavings. I was about to leave her. I didn’t have time for stupid things. History class was first, and Mr. Beckett would be pissed if his “A” student was late to class. Again.

“Dawn, for the love of—“ She shrieked. I nearly choked on my spit before realizing what she was screaming at. I grabbed the cup back and whirled it around to read whatever it was I’d won. “A free drink.” I stared a beat longer, making it a point to keep my face as blank as I could manage. Beneath my fa├žade, I was steaming. I was going to be late to class for a free drink? The cup almost crushed between my fingers and I spun on heels to march upstairs to first period.

“What? You should be happy! You never win anything!” she yelled after me, which caught eyes I’d rather not have on me at the moment. Or ever, for that matter.

I gave a tight smile to Rick Tearson, my tall, golden haired ex-boyfriend. He stood at his locker with amusement and something else I couldn’t read smeared across his face.

“Jerk,” I muttered under my breath, but half hoped he’d heard it. The bell rang and I opened the door to Mr. Beckett’s class, huffing and puffing like I’d just blown a house down. He gave me a warning look that pretty much meant I should keep my mouth shut and hurry to my seat.

I slid into my chair at the speed of lightning, catching the eyes of Jenny, the girl who sat on my left. She glanced to my drink. I quickly stuffed it into my bag, hoping the melting ice wouldn’t destroy my math homework. When the swarm of flies left my chest and I could breathe normal again I realized I’d yet to chew Dawn out for last night. And now I had even more reasons to be pissed at her. I really needed to find a new friend. She was going to drive me nuts, if not get me grounded for the rest of my life. Then again, I was the one letting her get me into trouble. Even though it was logical, I’d rather blame her than myself. It was easier.


  1. Hah! I remember having a friend like Dawn.

    I love the voice here; how irritated she is. Very nice!

  2. The voice is great! And your writing is a lot tighter than the last time I read an excerpt. Woo hoo! I still would like to see this scene move faster - there's a lot of great detail but it feels like it takes a long time just to get her into class.

  3. I agree with Gretchen on the pace, but I wanted to say my favorite line is about the gold flecks of the scratch-off floating to the carpet like pencil shavings. Very cool imagery. You have a knack for that.

  4. God, that takes me back to high school. I, also had a friend like that.
    I'm with Gretchen on the pace, but your eye for the small detail is brilliant. As Sharla says, you have a real knack for description.
    I'm interested to see how the story develops.

  5. thanks guys! the scratch-and-win is actually the inciting incident which is why i focused on it more, but with that said, you still think i should speed it up? i went back and cut a few unneeded stuff, but maybe a total of 3-4 sentences.

  6. Haha! This was great. Loved the first paragraph especially because it says so much, and the voice is excellent.

    I also agree with Gretchen that pace could be picked up a bit. If the winning is so important, maybe you can cut some other details - like her ex?

  7. A retreat and now writing? Somebody's on fie-uh! :) Loved the pics I found following your link yesterday.

    Drop by and check out my interview with a writer's writer today if ya get a chance.

  8. I liked this - you did a great job portraying the mc's ambivalence toward their friendship.

    I agree that it kind of dragged a bit. Maybe jump straight to the winning cup instead of going back and forth on the initial drink.

    Also, I'm not sure "divulge' is the word you're looking for early on. Maybe "indulge"? Good job!

  9. YA isn't my thing, but it felt genuine.

  10. Since the scratch-and-win (which I love for the cinematic, slow-mo of the details) is the inciting moment, I wonder if you couldn't just simply start there. The moment she starts to throw her cup away and Dawn snatches it away. The build-up perhaps muddies the importance of that fateful "scratch." ;o)

    *crosses fingers, hopes this comment posts*

  11. yay bryn, it worked! baby in other arm so no caps. and lol on the divulge/indulge mix up. i do that all the time! great suggestions, putting them to use. :)

  12. Hey there!

    I like this story and agree with others--you have a great talent for description. I could totally see those annoying little flakes fall--they get everywhere!

    That said, I also agree you could pick up the pace a tad. Maybe start with the "Did ya win?" line.

    Also, lines like this:
    I wasn’t a morning person, and was about to blame my lack of understanding on the fact my head was still blanketed in the heavy fog of sleep.

    could be shortened to: "I wasn't a monring person, and the heavy fog of sleep still blanketed my head."

    Over-explaining can slow pace. (oh, if only I could follow my own advice, lol).

    But I'm on the fence with cutting the bf bit--if he plays in later, I might be tempted to keep him. I think YA readers (read: teen girls) tend to be VERY interested in boy stuff, lol.

    Cheers and nice work!