Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 2012 Test Run #5

TITLE: Storyville
GENRE: Romance
New Orleans, Louisiana
Monday, October 6, 1902 

“Are you a virgin, Estella?”
The girl’s eyes widened at the question and her thin hands, already clenched together in her lap, whitened at the knuckles. The child squirmed in her chair and her gaze skittered around the room, bouncing from the crown moldings to the barge board floors to the enormous gilt-edged mirror that topped the marble fireplace mantle. It finally landed on the view of the deserted street through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Estella’s thoughts were written like words across her young face; she was trying to decide upon the right answer.

The girl stared at Trula’s chin and said, “No, Miz Boudreaux, course not.” Then, her eyes slid away. She was lying.

At least, Trula hoped she was lying. Had she ever been so young? Estella was hardly older than a baby. Perhaps thirteen, more likely twelve. Saints only knew what hell her home had been if she believed a whore’s life would be better. Trula leaned forward and caught the girl’s pointed chin between her fingers. She turned the young face from side to side. The child had thick chestnut hair in need of a wash and wide-set brown eyes flecked with gold. If she had a bit of meat of her bones, she’d be pretty. Still, unless she stumbled across a madam willing to sell her virginity to the highest bidder, the best an undeveloped child could hope for was a crib on Robertson Street where she might earn a few dollars a day.


  1. Very interesting! In the beginning I was a little confused about whose pov this was. We don't get introduced to Trula until Estella is staring at her, and then she calls her Miz Boudreaux. Also, I would suggest not starting with dialog. Maybe try something along the lines of:

    Trula stared at the young girl squirming in the high backed chair. "Are you a virgin..." she asked. Introduce us to whose pov we're looking from right up front.

  2. I agree with skywriter, tad confusing on 1st read on who this is.

    Otherwise, I like the premise and would read further to see where you take this. Good job.

  3. I must agree with the other two, that the POV was slightly confusing, but otherwise I liked it. I can already feel the character. Good job!

  4. I actually liked starting with that dialog. it has a punch to it. And you could fix the POV issue like this if youd like:

    "Are you a virgin, Estella?"

    Trula Boudreaux watched the girl's eyes widen at the question. Her thin hands, already clenched together in her lap, whitened...

    I think this gives us a very good idea that Estella has a very rough life. Good job.