Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Revision Wednesday, #2

Here's the revision of Friday's first pages! Please let our contributor know what you think.

I stared at the springs of Caroline’s top bunk, reaching absently for a stray thread hanging from the sheet. Damn, my hand was still shaking. I wedged it underneath my pillow, digging my fingernails into my palm, and started counting the tight black coils. One. Two. Three.

The springs groaned; Caroline would be getting up in a minute. There was no way she wouldn’t ask. What was I supposed to say? Ten minutes ago, I’d have said it was incredible. Laughing over dinner. Walking back to campus hand in hand. Our not-quite kiss goodnight.

Four. Five. Six. Seven.

It had been amazing. I wasn’t imagining that. Even this morning, both of us bleary-eyed from too little sleep and too much longing, the air between us practically crackled. I’d been worried that I was the only one who had gone to bed with my blood racing, replaying every word, every touch on an endless reel until I’d fallen into a dreamless sleep. But at least I’d slept. He admitted that he’d gone home and watched mindless TV, unable to get me out of his head. I’d laughed in disbelief; guys like Dylan did not lose sleep over girls like me.

“You don’t think so?” His blue eyes were electrifying. He’d meant it. That made it worse now somehow.

Caroline’s springs protested as she shifted to slap the off button of her alarm. I took a deep breath. She’d be gone in minutes; I could do this.

“Hey Car,” I called.

“Chloe?” She peered over the edge of her bed through a curtain of thick black hair.

“Hey. I didn’t want to scare you,” I said.

She leaped gracefully onto the nondescript beige carpeting. “What are you doing here? Didn’t you go to class?”

“I went to math, but I don’t feel very well,” I said. That was true, at least. I had nearly thrown up in the hallway. There was no way I could sit through another class.

“Are you alright?” she asked, her eyes widening in concern.

“I…I just,” I choked on the requisite fine that both of us expected. “I needed to lie down.”

“No shock there. We went to bed around two and there was definitely no sign of you,” she teased.

“I was late, although don’t get too excited. That wasn’t why,” I warned. “Speaking of, when I feel better I’m going to kill you.”

“Why? What did I do?” Caroline’s eyes widened.

“I just happened to pull out your condoms with my wallet at the restaurant. I thought I would die of embarrassment,” I accused.

Caroline’s hand flew over her mouth to stifle a giggle. “Oh shit. I’m sure you were appalled. What did he say?”

“He was cool about it,” I said, remembering his easy laugh and his reassuring hand on my arm, where it had then stayed, lightly but deliberately.


Michelle said...

I'm getting more of a sense of tension between the MC and Caroline. What is she afraid of? Why doesn't she want to tell her what happened on the date? This is interesting, and I'd keep reading to find out what that's about.

Steena Holmes said...

I like the changes you made - it has a tighter feel to it. Good job.

I was confused though when you started talking about them both being bleary-eyed - I assumed it was still morning from how it started off. I'm not sure if you could clarify that earlier on - I know you have it later that she skipped class.

Good job!

Sarah said...

Wow, this is a very different version! I was definitely wondering what had happened.

As far as tension between the two characters...I had the impression that Chloe was trying to hide what didn't happen the previous night. If that's the case, you might want to make it a tiny bit more obvious. On the other hand, that could come up in the dialog right after this, so whether you should make it more obvious really depends on what follows in the text.

Loved the image of Caroline leaning over the edge of the bunk.

A few picky things that stood out to me. "Nondescript" didn't seem the sort of description a college student would use, so it pulled me (a wee bit) out of the narrative there.

The bleary eyed bit confused me as well. I'd had the impression that it was still morning since Chloe was in bed. It wasn't the skipping class part that I understood.

I'd love to see more of this story. Good luck with it!

Sorry this is so late! Long day at work...

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Your piece is well written, much tighter than the first. I really like the imagery, i.e., Caroline's hair, the springs in the bunk. It felt like I was in the room. Also, the part about the condems was humourous.

Just a couple of small things you may want to take a look at:

Initially, I thought Chloe was talking about a date between her and Caroline. Once you mentioned Dillon, then I got it. You may consider clarifying who Chloe is thinking about. Perhaps adding a small snippet like: "Ten minutes ago I'd have said my date with "Dillon" was incredible." I'm sure you can come up with something much better.

Last, Chloe talks about the date in past tense. I get the feeling she wonders what Dillon is thinking, like she has not spoken to him since the date. Then suddenly, she is excited that Dillon went home and watched mindless T.V. unable to get Chloe out of his head. I may have missed something along the way. Was there a phone call? Exactly when did the interaction take place? You may consider reworking that part.

Both of my comments reference minor changes. Overall, you wrote a solid piece. FWIW, I'd turn to the next page. Great job.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Hi Sarah,
Just wanted to follow up to see if you received the e-mail I sent last night???