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  1. #1
    Howard Schwartz

    Body Language Part 2

    The first section is when Mark And carrie meet for lunch for the 1st time, the 2nd is the dialogue when they go to a baseball game on their first date.

    “It looks like you found the restaurant.” I said, stating the obvious as I sat down.
    “I’m starting to get a little better with directions. I've gotten lost so many times now, I had to start learning eventually."

    “So have you met your new boss yet?” I offered as a starter.
    “Yes, I have, Joseph Pinehurst. I haven’t spoken with him much, but from what I’ve heard from other people who work with him, he's not popular. The woman who I originally interviewed with has been transferred to a new department, so I’m stuck working for someone who doesn’t know anything about me, or me about him. He kind of reminds me of an old football coach. You know that Rah, Rah stuff. I'm not sure that works when you get to the corporate level.”
    Looking around the room, I noticed a woman in a corner of the restaurant sitting by herself. She had short black hair and wore wire rimmed glasses. The way she was sitting, slumped over with her hands held tightly between her knees and reading a book, reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t recall who. “Speaking of what you think people might do for a living, do you see that woman over in the corner by herself? I bet she is a grade school teacher or maybe a librarian. What do you think?”
    Carrie tried to turn to see whom I was referring to. “You’re right, she looks like my old fourth grade teacher back in Lansing, Mrs. Knutson. Now that woman was weird.”
    I gave her a quizzical look to keep on with the story.
    “She used to accuse the kids in my class of buzzing.” Carrie said.
    “Buzzing? What’s that?”
    “I know, it sounds strange doesn’t it? Even now when I think about it, it doesn’t feel like it could have really happened. She said she heard noises that no one else could hear, a “buzzing” sound. The first time she said it I thought she was probably hearing a bee somewhere in the room, then one day while we were supposed to be reading a book, during our “study time,” she walked around the class room and said, 'all right who is making that noise? Who’s buzzing?' Everyone was so terrified; we didn’t know what the heck she was referring to. If she pointed at you and said you were the one who was buzzing, you had to go stand in the corner. It was embarrassing because the other students would make fun of you when she wasn't looking."
    Carrie eyes brighten while she was telling the story.
    "One time she pointed at me and said I was the one who was doing it and made me stand in the corner. I began to cry and couldn’t stop, so she found another boy and made him stand in the corner instead of me. That poor kid, I still remember his name, Billy Bailey. I was so relieved that it wasn’t me and I could sit down.” Carrie waited until the waitress served our food and then jumped right back in to her story while we began to eat.
    “She used to take the first two fingers of her right hand and jab under your chin and if your muscles were tense that meant she could tell who was doing it.”
    “Wow, that is weird?” I agreed. “You seem to have come through it all right!”
    “You can’t be so sure, you really don’t know me all that well yet.” When Carrie smiled, freckles that sprinkled across her nose became bright, reminding me of cinnamon my mother used to spread across our buttered toast for breakfast and her intense green eyes lit up her entire face. Trying to encourage her to keep talking, I looked around the restaurant and noticed, another woman who was about 35 years old sitting with a man at a table. They appeared to be in a heated discussion, as he was waving his arms in the air as he spoke and she was looking in the opposite direction waiting for her turn to speak.
    “How about that woman sitting over there with that man near that far window, what do you think she does for a living?” I asked.
    Carrie turned to where I was now looking. “The one wearing the black slacks and the blue sweatshirt? Well, for starters, she doesn’t know how to dress.”
    I was surprised by her comment. “Why not?”
    “Because a woman who knew anything about fashion would never wear a black dress slack with a blue sweatshirt.”
    “Why is that? Maybe she got home from work and decided she wanted to put on a warmer top.”
    “Then she should have changed her slacks into something that was more informal, maybe a pair of jeans.”
    “I do the same thing all the time. I get home from work and just throw a sweatshirt over what I’m wearing. No one even notices”
    “You’re a man, a guy can wear anything he wants and no one cares, but a woman can’t get away with dressing like that.”
    “I've never heard that before.” I said. “If a man doesn’t care about what a woman is wearing, why would a woman mind? I've always thought women dress up to attract men.”
    Carrie rolled her eyes. “Boy you are really naďve. It’s just not something a woman would do, that’s all.”
    “So lets see if I’ve got this straight, a woman dresses for other women and not for a man? Is this in some kind of women’s handbook that men don’t know anything about? How and where do you find this book and how come no one tells men about it?”
    Carrie smiled. “It used to be given to the girls in the third grade when the boys were in gym class, slapping each other in the butt with wet towels, but now the information is posted on the Internet.”
    I picked up a napkin, took out a pen, like I was going to write the information down.
    “Give me that web address, I want to take a look at that handbook, maybe I’ll learn something new about women that I never knew before.”
    The silliness of this exchange amused Carried who was laughing so hard her eyes were watering. I thought she was going to choke on a piece of hamburger, but she managed to swallow and seemed to enjoy the conundrum I was having.

    We decided one drink would be enough. I paid our bill and we walked back to my car. It was a clear night but it was already starting to get dark. When I stopped the car in front of Carrie’s apartment, she immediately jumped out.
    “Look at the full moon!’ Carrie said pointing at the sky.
    “Let me run into my apartment so I can get my jacket. This sweater is too thin and I want to walk down closer to the Creek.”
    It was cool but clear, the kind of night I would never have thought twice about. I stood by the front door of her apartment and wondered when the last time I took a walk just to look at the moon. The answer is; probably never.
    Carrie walked out and we headed down the side of the hill that led to the creek. I have to admit, it was one of the brightest full moons I’ve ever seen. Standing at the edge of the creek, we could see each others shadow from the moonlight.
    "Doesn't it seem like you could jump up and grab it.” Carrie said and then held my hand.
    “Even the reflection off the water is intense.” I pointed at the white ball that appeared to be floating on the creek. The reflection was briefly interrupted by clouds that rolled by, now giving it a mystical glow. We stood without speaking until more clouds rolled in and finally robbed us of the perspective.
    Did you want to come in? It’s getting chilly out here.”
    "Yes, I would." We turned and walked back to her apartment. This entire night seemed more like a movie, surreal, but enjoyable. When we entered Carrie’s apartment, she excused herself to use the bathroom.
    I found myself looking at another picture she had hanging from a wall in her dining room. The picture was a man holding a rifle by the barrel with the butt on the ground. Next to him was a a young girl with a much to large rifle lying across her elbows. She was looking up at the man as if she was trying to win his approval.
    “That’s a picture of me and my dad when he tried to show me how to hunt. I know he really wanted a boy instead of a girl.” Carrie said as she walked up behind me.
    “Well, I am glad he had a girl.” I answered. “I think you have more pictures on your wall then I’ve ever taken in my life.”
    I turned toward Carrie placing my hands around her neck and we kissed. It was long and slow. Holding her body close to mine, I rubbed her back with my hands, gently moving along her spine. When I came to the curve in her lower back and I bent my head and softly kissed her earlobe. I could feel Carrie’s body shudder and heard her let out a soft moan, she gently pushed me away.
    “Maybe we would be more comfortable if we went to my bedroom.” Carrie whispered.
    Again her eyes lit up when she smiled. I froze with anticipation, hoping I was not going to wake up from a dream. Carrie grabbed my hand and led me to her bedroom. Standing next to her bed, she unbuttoned the front of my shirt and ran her hand leisurely down my chest.
    "Someone is ticklish." She whispered, but I couldn't speak and had to remind myself to breathe. Her hand continued down until it was under the top of my slacks, slowly reaching below the belt. We lay down on her bed, taking our time undressing each other.
    “I feel fortunate, you are a very beautiful woman.” I whispered in her ear.
    “I’ve been waiting years for this to happen for us again.” Carrie whispered back.
    At first I didn't understand what she had just said, but I didn't want to speak and break the mood.
    Everything progressed in a precise manner; I don’t think I’ve accomplished anything up to this time of my life that seemed as natural and I wanted as badly to try to make last forever. When we were both finally exhausted, Carrie fell asleep with her head lying in my arms.
    I thought about how fortunate I was to have met someone as unique as Carrie. If this relationship were to never go any farther, it would still be memorable. There are no words that can describe the feeling I had experienced.
    I listened intently to her breathing; it reminded me of a cat purring because of her content sound. I reached across her body and pulled her covers over both of us, feeling warm and fulfilled.
    Little did I know, that feeling would be short lived.

  2. #2

    Re: Body Language Part 2

    "When Carrie smiled, freckles that sprinkled across her nose became bright, reminding me of cinnamon my mother used to spread across our buttered toast for breakfast and her intense green eyes lit up her entire face."

    Wow, what a freak! Her entire face lights up and her freckles get "bright."

    You're trying too hard here.

  3. #3
    Jean Bonifacios

    Re: Body Language Part 2


    Oh sh!t! I'm gonna need a potty break! leslee, you really are on a roll!

  4. #4
    Janice W-D

    Re: Body Language Part 2

    I think there's a dangling participle or one of its kinfolk lurking in that sentence too. Whose green eyes lit up whose face? The mother's face? Carrie's? Or the cinnamon toast's face?


    You need to fire your critique group or learn to communicate with them better. They're commenting on the wrong things or you're misunderstanding their comments. Your work is way better than what I encounter with most newbies off-boards. However, your descriptions are too detailed about unimportant things that do nothing to move the plot forward and your dialogue is stilted. I never made it to the second scene.

    I'm a published author but I never stop learning. That's why I keep so many how-to books on my shelves. Many writers find dialogue the hardest aspect of our craft to learn. These will help improve yours:

    Barbara NORVILLE = Writing the Modern Mystery (Writer's Digest Books)
    The index lists several pages that cover dialogue.

    James FREY = How to Write a Damn Good Novel I
    James N. FREY = How to Write a Damn Good Novel II
    The author of nine novels, he won the Edgar Award, presented by Mystery Writers of America

    John GARDNER = The Art and Craft of Writing: Notes on Craft for Young Writers
    IMO, he's the best of the best to learn any aspect of writing from

    Stephen KING = On Writing (Last half of book--Section 7)

    Anne LAMONT = Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

    Agent Noah LUKEMAN = The First Five Pages (p. 75--115)

    Jean Z. OWEN = Professional Fiction Writing (Publisher: The Writer, Inc. 1974)

    Sol STEIN = Stein on Writing

    Lewis TURCO = Dialogue (Writers Digest Books)

    And here's my entire collection (I think):


    The Art and Craft of the Short Story - Rick DeMARINIS

    The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers - John GARDNER

    Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne LAMOTT

    How Fiction Works: The Last Word on Writing Fiction -- From Basics to the Fine Points - Oakley HALL

    How to Grow a Novel - Sol STEIN

    How to Write a Damn Good Novel - James N. FREY

    How to Write a Damn Good Novel II: Advanced Techniques for Dramatic Storytelling - James N. FREY

    If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit - Brenda UELAND

    If You're Writing, Let's Talk: A Road Map Past Writers' Blocks from Page One to The End - Joel SALTZMAN

    I'd Rather Be Writing: A Guide to Finding More Time, Getting More Organized, Completing More Projects and Having More Fun - Marcia GOLUB

    The Joy of Writing Sex: Interviews, Examples and Advice from Today's Most Celebrated Writers (Revised and Updated 2002) - Elizabeth BENEDICT

    No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days - Chris BATY

    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen KING

    Plot - Ansen DIBELL

    Professional Fiction Writing: A Practical Guide to Modern Writing Techniques - Jean Z. OWEN

    Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print - Renni BROWNE and Dave KING

    The Weekend Novelist: A Dynamic 52-Week Program to Help You Produce a Finished Novel ... One Weekend at a Time - Robert J. RAY

    Writing on Both Sides of the Brain: Breakthrough Techniques for People Who Write: Henriette Anne KLAUSER

    Writing the Breakout Novel - Donald MAASS

    Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook - Donald MAASS

    Writing Fiction - R. V. CASSILL

    Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within - Natalie Goldberg

    Writing from the Heart: Tapping the Power of Your Inner Voice - Nancy Slonim ARONIE

    The Writing Life - Annie DILLARD

    Writing the Modern Mystery: You'll Find More than Just Clues in this Howdunit -- You'll Learn Exactly How to Write Tightly Crafted Novels that Will Sell to Today's Editors - Barbara NORVILLE

    Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius within You - Ray BRADBURY
    Thanks for any input.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Janice W-D

    Re: Body Language Part 2

    Ignore the "Thanks for any input". I copied and pasted the list of books from an earlier post of mine and that sentence tagged along for the ride over here.


  6. #6
    Lea Zalas

    Re: Body Language Part 2

    Standing next to her bed, she unbuttoned the front of my shirt and ran her hand leisurely down my chest.

    Forget standing next to the bed, not important at this time. Try:

    She slowly unbuttoned my shirt, nudging it apart as her lips trailed down my chest. Running her hands up under the shirt, she traced the curves and valleys of my stomach before sliding her hands over my shoulders and down my arms, pushing it off of me.

    You have to set the mood. Just like in real life - take your time!

  7. #7
    Howard Schwartz

    Re: Body Language Part 2

    Thank you, that is helpful

  8. #8
    JR H

    Re: Body Language Part 2

    Just a few things, I'm new to this but I think I'm offering sound advice.

    [i]Carrie eyes brighten while she was telling the story.<\i>

    this should be: Carrie[b]'s<\b> eyes brighten[b]ed<\b>

    [i]“Wow, that is weird?” I agreed. “You seem to have come through it all right!”<\i>

    this should be: "...that is weird[b],<\b>" I agreed.

    and finally I believe you should get rid of the comma after "noticed" in the sentence:

    [i]I looked around the restaurant and noticed, another woman <\i>

  9. #9
    JR H

    Re: Body Language Part 2

    PS. Please ignore my attempt to use [b] and [i]... I tried.

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