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-   -   How do you feel about her? (Chapter 2) (http://forums.writersbeat.com/showthread.php?t=62100)

Konan 02-19-2018 07:40 AM

How do you feel about her? (Chapter 2)
 
All gone.

Beesauce 02-19-2018 09:53 AM

“First my dad,” croaked Kaylee, spinning the steering wheel to the right and cruising down another street as a lone tear rolled down her cheek, “and now my mom!” She sniffled, rubbing at her watering eyes with a few knuckles. “I can’t bear the thought of losing her too.”

“Because you’d feel all alone?”

“No!” Kaylee snapped bitterly, pushing her back erect. “I get along just fine!” She cleared her throat. “I just don’t want to miss my vacation, is all. I’ve been looking forward to it all year. Europe. Imagine.”

----------

This is where I stopped reading.
No. I don't like the girl.
She cares about Europe more than her parents.

Why? This character would die instantly if I told the story.
Her mother would live, and go to Europe . Why does the girl care about Europe? And whats the point and does she die? Because it's an instant this character is going to have a hard life in 3.2.1-

Beesauce 02-19-2018 09:54 AM

[delete the doubles]

Konan 02-19-2018 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beesauce (Post 742099)
This is where I stopped reading.
No. I don't like the girl.
She cares about Europe more than her parents.

Why? This character would die instantly if I told the story.
Her mother would live, and go to Europe . Why does the girl care about Europe? And whats the point and does she die? Because it's an instant this character is going to have a hard life in 3.2.1-

Did you not pick-up that she was lying, to Sarah and more importantly to herself? Perhaps I have to make that more clear, or maybe if you would have kept reading, it would have become more evident.

After all, if someone's action contradict their words, which do you believe?

Luciaphile 02-19-2018 01:07 PM

'Oh, I'll get along fine!' she said sarcastically. "All I care about is the trip to Europe. Yeah, right...."

Maybe?

I think, too, that you are losing a reader's concern for this character when later she screams so much and acts so over the top. Let her be a little sad, maybe.

Beesauce 02-19-2018 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Konan (Post 742101)
Did you not pick-up that she was lying, to Sarah and more importantly to herself? Perhaps I have to make that more clear, or maybe if you would have kept reading, it would have become more evident.

After all, if someone's action contradict their words, which do you believe?


Nope, I did not catch that it was a lie. Hint at sarcasm, as Lucia mentioned, would be helpful.

I read the rest and felt the friend was a pushover and the driver was shouting too much.

If she was being sarcastic, I still don't like the character, and the question is "How do you feel about her?"

MC is annoying and audience wishes for a hardknocked life asap.
Passenger needs to stop being drivers friend and the story snowballs into a series of unfortunates... does this story end happy for the mother? Does the MC go to Europe? If she does, after a joking comment that came out her mouth, I'd be alright with her finding herself in Europe in a coma or on the street a beggar thief -- hey, then you can tell a story about how she crawls out the hole you put her in. Every author says throw rocks at your characters. Make them climb a tree; challenge them; make that pushover friend not a pushover and respond in more than just disgust. If I had a friend who made that kind of comment in the way it's worded I'd say something like, "Ok, wow. Is there a bus transit near the hospital? See ya!"

Konan 02-19-2018 02:27 PM

Beesauce -- I take it you're not going to give her a "pass" for being a psycho bitch because she lost her father when she was a baby and her mother practically abandoned her (and was sexually abused as a child)?

Luciaphile -- Do you at least still sympathize with her, for all she's been through in her life?

brianpatrick 02-19-2018 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Konan (Post 742093)
Kaylee jammed the stick into gear and stamped on the gas. Her little white Honda burst into motion, plastering Sarah’s head into the headrest beside her.

“Oh, I hope she doesn’t die or something!” Kaylee wailed, gripping the steering wheel. Her knuckles turned white.

“That’s not gonna happen, Kaylee.”

“We were supposed to go to Europe this summer, backpacking – just the two of us, hitch-hiking across the countryside and staying in hostels for the thrill of it. It was going to be a real adventure. I’ve never left Vancouver before.” Kaylee pursed her lips. “I’ve never been anywhere,” she moaned.

Sarah placed a hand on her arm. “People come out of comas all the time and they live long, happy lives afterwards.”

“But sometimes it takes years before they wake-up,” Kaylee said, starting to sob now. “And sometimes they’re in a coma so long that the doctor eventually pulls them off life-support and they die!”

“I’m sure that’s not gonna happen to your mom,” said Sarah, giving Kaylee’s arm a small squeeze.

“First my dad,” croaked Kaylee, spinning the steering wheel to the right and cruising down another street as a lone tear rolled down her cheek, “and now my mom!” She sniffled, rubbing at her watering eyes with a few knuckles. “I can’t bear the thought of losing her too.”

“Because you’d feel all alone?”

“No!” Kaylee snapped bitterly, pushing her back erect. “I get along just fine!” She cleared her throat. “I just don’t want to miss my vacation, is all. I’ve been looking forward to it all year. Europe. Imagine.”

Sarah frowned. “Well, you’ll always have me, Kaylee. I know we’ve only known each other for a few weeks, but I like to think we’re getting pretty close. I’m here for you.”

The car suddenly screeched to a halt before a stoplight that had just turned red. Sarah’s hands shot out in a flash to grip the dashboard and prevent her head from flying into the windshield.

“Maybe I should drive,” Sarah suggested, pulling the seatbelt across her chest and clicking it into place.

But Kaylee didn’t answer. Her attention was riveted on a young couple who had stepped off the curb onto the crosswalk in front of them. Between the pair, a cute little girl skipped along happily; one hand holding her mother’s, and the other her father’s. She had a tranquil smile on her face and her eyes shone.

Kaylee’s insides began to boil and bubble. Then she let loose a long string of violent curse words, all at the top of her lungs, as she banged her hands on the steering wheel and thrashed her head about in a frenzy.

Sarah gaped at her in disbelief. “What is it – what’s the matter?”

Kaylee swore loudly again, slamming her head backwards against the headrest several times in rapid succession. “Look at that!” she wailed, her eyes glued to the couple and their child who were now mounting the curb on the other side of the street. “Look at them!”

Sarah stitched her eyebrows together. “I don’t understand.”

“Of course you don’t!” spat Kaylee, tearing her face away from Sarah’s shocked gaze. “You grew up with both parents,” she added almost inaudibly.

Sarah bit her lower lip, and then let a moment of silence pass. Finally, she said, “I’m sure your mom will be fine, Kaylee.”

The stoplight turned green, and Kaylee floored it. Squeals echoed off the walls of the surrounding buildings and a few passersby startled and turned their heads sharply in their direction.

“It’s right around that corner,” Sarah said, pointing a finger ahead.

“I know that!” Kaylee snapped. “Who’s driving here?” Her eyes itched to see the hospital. “Let her be fine … let her be fine,” she whispered under her breath, crossing two fingers.

They turned the corner and a towering white building swung into Kaylee’s sight. It looked like a massive hotel. They drove parallel with it till they came upon a parkade. Kaylee yanked the wheel, veering the car into its waiting mouth.

“C’mon, c’mon, c’mon,” Kaylee muttered, her eyes searching for an open stall as they rolled up and down the aisles.

[More coming soon]



I’m more concerned with tight prose than the arc of the story or characters at this point. This seems like YA to me anyway, and that’s not my bag. I’m not sure what young teens want to read.

So...


Kaylee jammed the stick into gear and stamped on the gas.>>> I would delete “into gear”(where else would she jam it?), and change stamped to stomped.
Otherwise you are “telling” the reader something unnecessary.

plastering Sarah’s head into the headrest beside her>>> delete “beside her”. If she’s the passenger, we know she is beside the driver.

“Oh, I hope she doesn’t die or something!” Kaylee wailed, gripping the steering wheel. Her knuckles turned white.>>> the dialogue seems like sarcasm, but the action seems like she’s serious here, frightened, deeply concerned. I’d rework this.

“We were supposed to go to Europe this summer, backpacking – just the two of us, hitch-hiking across the countryside and staying in hostels for the thrill of it. It was going to be a real adventure. I’ve never left Vancouver before.” Kaylee pursed her lips. “I’ve never been anywhere,” she moaned.>>> again, pursed her lips doesn’t match the dialogue; there’s a disconnect. Personally, I’d delete this paragraph all together. It’s not necessary to the story anyway, and it makes her look shallow. I suppose that’s okay if she is going to learn a very heavy lesson about being a shallow childish bitch later, but otherwise...

The stoplight turned green, and Kaylee floored it. Squeals echoed off the walls of the surrounding buildings and a few passersby startled and turned their heads sharply in their direction.>>> maybe: The stoplight turned green. Kaylee floored it. Squeals echoed off buildings, and people startled, turning their heads sharply.(the rest is “telling” us the obvious).

There’s more, but that’s enough for me. All I can say is this chick better be about to learn a mondo lesson about being a good human or even young teens won’t like it.

Cheers


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Nick Pierce 02-19-2018 04:22 PM

The piece comes across with the value of a Swiss Army Knife.

Lot of stuff here but no dominant function.

Nick Pierce 02-19-2018 04:28 PM

Sorry, the question was how do I feel about Kaylee.

I do think her name is overused.

Aw, that still ain't answerin' direct.

Sorry.
Maybe bein' over 30 years (twice) handicaps my ability to develop an emotional tie with someone who is simply fuckin' up.

daes13 02-19-2018 05:09 PM

At times your speech is at end with you tags and action. That is the main problem,with this story. Let it flow, dont over think it, and then rewrite.

Too often people speak of editing when really we should be speaking of rewriting.

Konan 02-19-2018 05:24 PM

brianpatrick -- Thanks for the critique. I'll take your suggestions into consideration.

And yes, she's in for a massive change.

Here's my character arc:

Psycho Bitch > Lessons > Cool Chick

I just don't know if readers will be willing to put up with her in the beginning, or whether I need rethink my whole character.

Thanks everyone else for the comments.

brianpatrick 02-19-2018 06:15 PM

Okay, so unless her friend is also a bitch with a really self serving reason for her loyalty, she should also realize the MC is a cunt.

And in the beginning the MC should punch the girl who wrote the graffiti in the mouth. Her friend can also kick the punched girl when she’s down, if you want to go that way. But she has to have a selfish reason for the loyalty.

Your character needs to do terrible things, and then have terribler things happen to her(yes, I know that’s not a word).


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Konan 02-19-2018 11:53 PM

brianpatrick said, "And in the beginning the MC should punch the girl who wrote the graffiti in the mouth. Her friend can also kick the punched girl when she’s down, if you want to go that way. But she has to have a selfish reason for the loyalty."

Come, now, Brian. Would ladies act like that? Isn't it mostly men's whose disputes often end in physical violence? And with women, don't they tend to exact their retaliations socially or emotionally?

That's been my experience.

As for Kaylee getting back at Scarlet, I have what I think is the perfect scenario. It's written already, so maybe I'll post it for feedback.

By the way, I don't think I ever told you that, as a result of our discussion on the afterlife years ago, I changed my belief from believing that existence continued after death to the probable fact that our consciousness simply deceases to exist.

brianpatrick 02-20-2018 05:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Konan (Post 742121)
brianpatrick said, "And in the beginning the MC should punch the girl who wrote the graffiti in the mouth. Her friend can also kick the punched girl when she’s down, if you want to go that way. But she has to have a selfish reason for the loyalty."

Come, now, Brian. Would ladies act like that? Isn't it mostly men's whose disputes often end in physical violence? And with women, don't they tend to exact their retaliations socially or emotionally?

.



Yes, but rule number 7 states: always make sure your characters surprise the reader, do unexpected things. Small things, big things, blah blah blah

If you are writing literary fiction you can worry about documenting reality, but in genre fiction it’s got to snap.

This is an over-simplification, but I’m late for work, so...


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Konan 02-21-2018 08:05 AM

Do you think I surprised the reader with Kaylee dumping sob stories and throwing temper tantrums?

Also, any thoughts on Kaylee's revenge on Scarlet?

And for anyone else reading, would you continue reading if more was posted -- or does Kaylee's character completely turn you off?

I'd really appreciate your feedback!

Konan 02-22-2018 07:00 AM

I'm surprised Cityboy hasn't chirped in yet with his usual over the top rubbish.

brianpatrick 02-22-2018 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Konan (Post 742224)
I'm surprised Cityboy hasn't chirped in yet with his usual over the top rubbish.



He’s like a cat. Short bursts of energy followed by days of exhaustion and self-loathing regret.


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