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Thread: Vinnie Loses It

  1. #1
    Nathan Nicholl

    Vinnie Loses It

    Okay, bit of back ground. There's Vinnie and Beth and Johnny and Vinnie's house got blown up by wizards and now they're on the run and Vinnie has had alls he can stands and he can't stands no more. Got it? Good.

    “Vinnie, have you stolen a horse for us yet?” Beth asked.

    “Does it look like I have a horse with me? Who am I going to steal one from? That poor bugger over there? Look at him; he’s half dead. Look at his horse! It’s so knackered I’d have to carry it!”

    Beth looked at the trudging farmer with his bow-backed nag. “Okay, so don’t steal that one. There must be other horses.”

    “Yes, there are other horses, but they aren’t here. We…are…in…the…middle…of…nowhere.” Beth sighed; Vinnie was looking unstable. “And why are we here? Because your freaky baby keeps making things float. He couldn’t just lie on his back and…and…” Vinnie didn’t know what normal babies did. “Stupid baby, ruining my house, making people try to kill me. Ruining…my…life.” The last few words came out of him at full volume.

    He stopped yelling and lay on the road.

    Beth shifted little Johnny in her arms and waited for Vinnie to get up. “What are you doing? Are you going lie there forever?” Vinnie didn’t answer. “It wasn’t like it was a good house or anything, and people are always trying to kill you.”

    “It was still my house. And people only tried to kill me because of things I had done.”

    Beth sighed again. “We have to get going; it’ll be dark soon. Will you please get up?”

    Vinnie hadn’t given any thought to getting back up. Now that he was, he wished he hadn’t lain down in the first place. “I’ll get up when I’m ready to get up.”

    “And how long will that be?” Beth said politely.

    “Dunno, could be days…”

    “So you’re just going to lie on the road until everything is better?”


    “In that case, I’m going to lie down too.” Beth lay beside Vinnie with Johnny on her chest. “Maybe my poor, dead husband will come back and we’ll be able to live together on our farm,” she said with a quiet tremor in her voice.

    Vinnie stared at the side of the road, feeling like @!#$. Some rocks floated out of the ditch. He closed his eyes.

    “It was such a big beautiful farm with cows and sheep and daffodils growing in the fields. My husband would work hard all day then came home and play with Johnny while I cooked dinner—” Beth started sobbing.

    “Alright! I’ll get up. Just stop crying.” Vinnie stood up and helped Beth up. She wiped the tears off her face and smiled at him.

    “Thank you, Vinnie. You’re so sweet.”

    Vinnie turned and started walking, hunched over like a gigantic weight was crushing him.

    Feel free to tear it to shreds, then jump up and down the remnants.

  2. #2

    Re: Vinnie Loses It

    I liked it.

    Couple of technical points: In dialog heavy scenes like this, it is clearer to the reader when you give each character his own paragraph. That is, don't mix one character's dialog in with another character's reactions. Such as in paragraph 4--you have Vinnie speaking: "“Yes, there are other horses, but they aren’t here. We…are…in…the…middle…of…nowhere.” Followed by: " Beth sighed;..." This made me think the line had been attributed to Beth, which was incorrect.

    The second point has to do with Point Of View. Don't know what if any POV has been established prior to this, but this scene contains two. This is not necessarily wrong or bad, I just don't know if it's intentional. This line--"Beth sighed; Vinnie was looking unstable."--puts us inside Beth's head. And this line--"Vinnie stared at the side of the road, feeling like @!#$."--puts us in Vinnie's.

    Otherwise, the voice is clear, consistent, and intriguing. I'm not a phantasy person, but I'd be interested in following a put-upon "why me, lord?" guy like Vinnie when he runs up against wizards. (Way more interesting than a kid in wizard school.)

    Good luck, and let us see your query letter.

  3. #3

    Re: Vinnie Loses It

    Just my opinion, feel free to ignore:

    Sighing isn't very interesting. Don't have her do it twice.


    “Yes, there are other horses, but they aren’t here. We…are…in…the…middle…of…nowhere.” Beth sighed; Vinnie was looking unstable."

    Don't insert Beth's sigh or thoughts into this paragraph. It's Vinnie talking, but because you tucked her into the paragraph, it seems to be Beth talking, and it's confusing.

  4. #4
    brandyn buchanan

    Re: Vinnie Loses It

    OOh, Jayce, a shot at Harry Potter. No one's ever done that before. I was all like "oh no you DI-nt go there," and you were all like "oh yes i did, boyeee!"

    A very entertaining scene. I enjoyed it.

  5. #5

    Re: Vinnie Loses It

    Hey, I'm not afraid of 'em.

  6. #6
    Prince Louis Richard de la Pau

    Re: Vinnie Loses It

    I can't wait to read the rest. It sounds a lot more interesting that HP. And I liked the scene.

    The bit that Leslee mentioned about Beth and Vinnie's viewpoints could just as easily be fixed by pressing before 'Beth sighed; Vinne was...'

    That way you don't spoil the point of view.

    And sighing, when done properly - rolling of eyes, etc - can be very expressive.

    Good luck

    Louis Richard

  7. #7
    M. Lee

    Re: Vinnie Loses It

    I have to agree with Louis about the sighing.

    I write YA so my characters sigh a lot, usually along with other mannerisms such as the infamous eye roll.

    I see it in my own teenagers pretty much everyday, so nothing brings their annoyance, apathy, and disdain to mind quite like the sigh.

  8. #8

    Re: Vinnie Loses It

    Just my opinion, feel free to ignore:

    A writer cannot rely upon sighing and eye rolling to convey emotion. They have more value if used sparingly.

  9. #9
    Nathan Nicholl

    Re: Vinnie Loses It

    I actually spotted the POV problem after I had posted it. No way to ninja-edit...

    The sighing isn't really meant to be expressive, it's more a reaction that Vinnie brings out in people. Sort of a (bad) running gag through out the book. Vinnie is the set-upon protagonist, but he also brings a lot of the trouble on himself. I'll remove one of them though.

    Thanks for the comments.

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