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Thread: Better?

  1. #1
    Busy Lizzy


    OK. I realised that the beginning in my other post was rubbish.Thanks for opening my eyes.
    Is this better? All comments welcome, but MEN BEWARE, this is Women's Fiction. It's a story about a runaway bride.

    “So, when' s the wedding?” A clear voice rang distinctly over the general murmur on the terrace. The other guests, enjoying the first warm day on the sunny terrace of the Colchester coffee house, turned their heads to look at a beautiful blond, who was sipping an ice-tea.
    “This June,” her friend answered.
    “Why, that's next month! “
    “And you're going to be a bridesmaid!”
    The blonde in one swift moment rose to embrace her friend, almost knocking over her glass. “Oh Eve, you are a dear! I'm thrilled!”
    “Well, we did swear to each other we would be bridesmaids at our weddings, didn't we? And I asked Jean, too.”
    “Actually, I had hoped it would be me that married first,” the prospective bridesmaid said with an envious undertone.
    “With your looks, Donna , I guess we all did!” The warm summer breeze blew through her dark curls, making her push them back with impatience. A diamond on her hand caught the sunlight and sent out a firework of sparkles.
    Donna tried to ignore it.“Thank you my dear, but thanks to fate, it was you who had to go off to Cambridge and catch the eye of the most attractive don there, not me. You would have to be very lucky indeed, to find a man like that here in boring old Colchester. Especially if you're secretary to a stuffy old attorney.”
    The girls fell silent. Eve was thinking of Michael and as always, with a feeling of utmost joy. He was too good to be true and often enough she could hardly believe how lucky she was. Why had he fallen in love with her, when there were so many other girls at the college much prettier than her? She could not think of any reason. Her heart had flown to him at once on that day last autumn when he entered the hall and began to lecture on “The Vowel-shift and its Consequences for the English Language”. Although the lecture was not compulsory for literature students, the hall was crammed with mainly female listeners.
    A redhead next to her had sighed, “I wouldn't mind him shifting my vowels for me, and I don' t care about the consequences, either.”
    This comment was followed by some appreciative tittering.
    From behind, a voice whispered, “Forget it, baby. That man is notoriously shy and definitely no womaniser. You can tell you haven't been hanging around long in these parts. If you are looking for true romance, go to the courses “English for Foreigners”. Jack Corvis is your man.”
    The redhead turned her head to respond“But I am English!” raising another wave of giggles around her, but now the lecturer was getting impatient with their suppressed chattering and threw them a dark glance. Eve felt her cheeks flushing. Damn! It was her pale complexion that made her do that. She wanted to crawl under the table. But Michael's eyes had lingered on her, and kept straying back.
    After the lecture, he was waiting for her at the door. The other students looked at her with curiosity as they pushed out of the room. Probably they were wondering why Michael Beaufort was turning to that little grey mouse from the back row.
    During the next few months, the “little grey mouse” became “that lucky girl who's dating with Beaufort”.

  2. #2
    Busy Lizzy

    Re: Better?

    Arghh! Where did my formatting vanish to? - This happens to a lot of people who post something here. Give me a yelp, if you think it's too hard on your eyes and maybe a tip, how to avoid formatting-vanishing.

    Busy Lizzy

  3. #3
    Danyelle --

    Re: Better?

    Better, but there are still a few kinks.

    1) Distinctly, in my opinion, is not needed. You already stated that a clear voice rang out. TO me, distinctly clutters this sentence a bit.

    2) Too many ! This, to me, makes it feel all happy and peachy and not real. If everyone is feeling !, show the reader some of those moments instead.

    3) The conversation doesn't feel natural to me. It feels like a lot of back story is being slipped in. These two know each other and each other's situations. Trying reading this outloud. Could just be me nitpicking, but it feels a bit like seafoam.

    4) This is all my opinion. I generally don't read books like this, so what you're doing might be perfectly acceptable. I would go with it, but clean up some of the language so it feels a little more natural and (in my opinion) I would get rid of some of the cliches. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Joe Zeff

    Re: Better?

    Copy the section from your MS and paste it into Notepad, or the equivalent. Look it over to make sure that the formatting is what you want and make any needed changes. Copy that and paste it in here.

  5. #5
    Sam English

    Re: Better?

    “Actually, I had hoped it would be me that married first,” the prospective bridesmaid said with an envious undertone.
    “With your looks, Donna , I guess we all did!”

    Is this really what you meant to say? Unless she said something like "I THOUGHT it would be me that married first...", it reads as an insult.

    Also, I agree with what Danileel said about the dualog not sounding natural. No young, marraige-age women that I know or have known would use the word "why" as it's used in this sentance:
    “Why, that's next month!“
    That's something the Beave would say, but not a 20-something female...

  6. #6

    Re: Better?


    I've edited the first few paragraphs. It's important that the reader knows which character is speaking and that the dialogue is as natural as possible. You must speak with your own voice, of course. Good luck with your writing.

    So, when's the wedding?” asked Donna. Her voice rang distinctly over the general murmur on the coffee house terrace. Everyone turned to look at her. They saw a stunning blond sipping on iced-tea.

    “This June,” answered Eve.

    “Why, that's next month!"

    “And you're going to be a bridesmaid!”

    Donna rose to embrace her friend, almost knocking over her glass. “Oh Eve, I’m really glad for you!”

    “Well, we did swear to each other we’d be bridesmaids at our weddings. I asked Jean, too.”

    “I thought it would be me that married first.” Donna looked envious.

    “With your looks, I guess we all did!”

    The summer breeze blew through Eve’s dark curls. She pushed them back impatiently. The diamond on her finger caught the sunlight and sent out a firework of sparkles.

    “Thanks, but it was you who went off to Cambridge and caught the eye of the dishiest don there. It would be impossible to find a man like that here in boring Colchester. Especially, when you work for a stuffy old attorney, like I do.”

  7. #7
    Jeanne Gassman

    Re: Better?

    “Actually, I had hoped it would be me that married first,” the prospective bridesmaid said with an envious undertone.

    Hah! Made me laugh. On the day of my wedding, I had the following conversation with one of my bridesmaids:

    Bridesmaid: "I can't believe you're getting married."
    Me: "I know. I can't believe it either. Isn't it amazing?"
    Bridesmaid: "I always thought I'd be married long before you were."
    Then the wedding march started to play, and I walked down the aisle.

    Sam, it happens.


  8. #8
    Arden Wolfe

    Re: Better?

    You are treating exclamation points like commas and periods again. This also signals you have doubts about the dialogue strength. So to make it stronger, you add the points.

    This has the opposite effects when used so liberally.

    Four on less than half a page is going to tell the reader something you did not intend to say.


  9. #9
    Arden Wolfe

    Re: Better?

    Excuse me ... seven.

  10. #10
    Carmel C

    Re: Better?

    Busy this is as busy as your name.
    You use two words for every one needed. Examples:
    rang and distinctly
    general and murmur
    warm and sunny
    firework and sparkles.

    Yes they seem different but think of economizing your words and allowing your reader to create his own picture with your guidance. Does that make sense?

    I also feel the dialogue is stilted. JMO but it feels phony to me.

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