GENRE: YA contemporary with magical realism
As he sinks slowly into the chair across from me, he looks just like a doctor should -- greying hair, a well-trimmed beard with badger-stripes framing his lips, and wire rimmed glasses his wife must have chosen. They're far too tasteful compared to the awful polyester shirt and pants he's wearing. On the plus side, his smile seems genuine.
"How are you feeling about today, Stacy?" His voice is too loud for the muted tones of the room -- all earthy browns and soft corners. It's his office, but he's tried to make it look like a living room -- complete with a coffee table squatting between us and lamps on the varnished surfaces at our sides. Too bad the external door has a combination lock. Kind of kills the good-time vibe.
He's waiting for an answer. I start to shrug, then freeze in place until the razors of pain ease. My stitches are all out now, but the hard pink lines spiderwebbing across most of my upper body are just a pitiful attempt at healing. Underneath I am still many layers of mangled nerve endings and fractured flesh.
Doctor hears me catch my breath and his eyes snap to mine. All that beguiling disinterest is an act. He is measuring me.
"Pain?" he says, softly this time.
"Yes. But it's not so bad. I just moved wrong." It burns and crackles under my skin until I want to scream. But I won't tell him that.
i think when you're using the dialogue, you're at your strongest, so you might actually start with the dialogue line, "How are you feeling about today, Stacy?" and then i'd probably cut about half of the descriptives from the opening paragraph and blend the rest into the paragraph following that line of dialogue.ReplyDelete
The rest of the paragraphs, i'd just do a little tightening with words. like in the paragraph that starts "he's waiting for an answer..." after the line "my stitches are out now..." try this: hard pink lines spiderweb across my upper body. underneath, am i still layers of mangled nerve endings and fractured flesh.
like the attitude of the character. lines like "kind of kills the good-time vibe" are great.
as this is magical realism, i know it's early in the book, i would like to see a hint of this if you can manage it.
hope these suggestions are helpful and good luck with your story!
I enjoyed this piece--it definitely leaves me wondering what might happen next, and what's caused all the mangled flesh and nerve endings.ReplyDelete
The descriptions of the characters and the settings were very good; the scene popped in my head clear as a photograph. However, I felt this line was a bit awkward: "My stitches are all out now, but the hard pink lines spiderwebbing across most of my upper body are just a pitiful attempt at healing. Underneath I am still many layers of mangled nerve endings and fractured flesh."
I like the imagery, it's just the wording is a bit off. I might say "are still healing" or something on that order. The second sentence of the excerpt works I think, although you could combine them into one sentence.
I don't know all that much about magic realism, so take my comment with a grain of salt. But still, very interesting!
I am definitely interested in knowing what happened to the MC. I'm not too fond of the constantly calling the doctor "Doctor" as a character name, but only reading the first page I don't know if there's a reason or not. I agree with Andrew in the awkward way that phrase sounds. I'm not too sure about the first dialogue line either. "About" seems out of place and awkward to read with the rest of it.ReplyDelete
Aside from those couple of things, I think you've got a great start and I would definitely read on!