GENRE: Women's fiction
The dim restaurant light and the candles’ glow let the freckles on Valery’s cleavage dance.
“How they might taste, those sassy freckles on that skin delicate like rice paper?” Emmy wonders and immediately drowns the question in a swig of Chablis. It joins the other rebellious Valery-regarding-questions grumbling in Emmy stomach, adding to the nausea that’s been tormenting her all evening. Emmy doesn’t understand why she keeps staring at Valery’s boobs, like a dog in front of a treat that’s out of reach. So far she’s never been interested in boobs other than her own.
Tom makes a corny joke and Valery throws her head back and laughs, loud and high-pitched. Emmy doesn’t like it when Valery drinks too much and gets like this, fake flashy and flirtatious. Who is she trying to impress? Tom, her husband for nine years? “The boys”, as Valery calls her friends Jack and Martin, who are visiting from Los Angeles and are engaged to each other? Certainly not Emmy, that’s for sure.
Disapprovingly Emmy gazes at Valery’s open mouth and feels ashamed, because all she can think of is that she would love to kiss those tantalizing lips, even though they are too small for her taste. Emmy has a thing for juicy lips, at least when it comes to men.
“Are you okay?” the too-small-lips suddenly inquire and the latent irritated tone startles Emmy. The question is aimed at her. “You’re oddly quiet today.”
Does that mean she usually talks too much? Emmy feels small and inferior, like so often in Valery’s company.
Interesting set up. Maybe simplify introductions somehow, giving each character some space so I can see each, clearly. I'm not sure if I know what I'm talking about, please use my comment as a grain of salt. Bu, I think the tension is there.ReplyDelete
I like the tension. I can really feel Emmy's dilemma.ReplyDelete
I thought the sentence starting with "Disapprovingly Emmy gazes..." was long and confusing. Maybe breaking it up will improve the flow.
You have a definite writing style here, which is great. I found your second line a bit awkward “How they might taste, those sassy freckles on that skin delicate like rice paper?” I think maybe if you swapped "they" and "might" it would sound more like a question, and a little less clunky.ReplyDelete
Otherwise I think you got Emmy's feelings across well.
Not sure what to make of this on various levels. I think part of it is that "Valery" is a man's name in Europe! "Valerie" being the female equivalent. Also what is the goal of the scene? To present the MC's boredom or an erotic crush on a friend? You need to figure that out as it's unclear. Also, Eroticism is best created with a light hand, so go easy with the descriptions eg. "cleavage dance" "boobs" "juicy lips" are more hard-core/crude and likely to turn your women's fiction reader off. I guess that's another question: are you writing women's fiction, eroticism or porn? Write for your market.ReplyDelete
I agree with Lucianne. Some of this I found crude, but saying that, I found myself interested in the fact Emmy has a crush on her friend, Valery. Does anyone know that she is LBGT? Is this something new for her? The questions are there, but I'm not sure I like the approach. I want to understand if all this is new to Emmy.ReplyDelete
Is Emmy gay? If so, I'd be surprised if she just realizes it immediately at the dinner table. Is she possessed by a man's spirit ("Emmy has a thing for juicy lips, at least when it comes to men.") (is this why she is nauseous)?ReplyDelete
The second paragraph quotation marks being on Emmy's thoughts throws me a bit too. Are there words missing in the last sentence? ( like [she does] so often in Valery’s company. ) I agree with readers above re: starting out a sentence with Disapprovingly (I've always been told to avoid adverbs), also with choice of name Valery as possible man's name, the swapping of 'they' and 'might'.
I think that if this is an awakening to her sexuality, it's very good. The sense of her jealousy of the gay men receiving Valery's attention is a great detail.
The sense of Emmy feeling small in Valery's company is also interesting, and I want to see more of that too.
The word "boobs" for some reason stands out, but I don't find this pornographic at all. I think that openly acknowledging women's sexuality is a nice result of decades and scores of years of feminists' hard work (e.g., Girls, Bridesmaids ... perhaps crass in places but honest).
I read this a few times, in fact, I keep coming back to it. It is definitely compelling. There is a lot going on here which piques my interest, and I like the tension, the style. Maybe there is too much going on too fast, a lot of information distilled down too much. I'd like to see you go with it and open up the writing, say more, show more. You have a lot to go on. Good luck.
I just wrote a long response, and lost it somehow...errr.ReplyDelete
I'll at least say this. I agree with above readers re: switching might and they, with Valery as possible man's name, with starting a sentence with an adverb (Disapprovingly). Also, you might consider showing instead of saying 'tantalizing'. I think the word 'Boobs' sticks out, but I don't find any of this all that crude. (Girls, Bridesmaids, for instance, are great examples of women being able to say what they think, do, rather than keep quiet and look good--I love that we've come this far.)
I wasn't sure whether she is just discovering she is gay or she has a man trapped inside her body, which might explain the nausea. I like that she is jealous of Valery's attention to the gay couple, and that she feels small in Valery's company. I'd like to see more of this. Are two words missing at the end? (like [she does] so often)?
I read this a few times, in fact, I keep coming back to it. It is definitely compelling. There is a lot going on here which piques my interest, and I like the tension, the style. Maybe there is too much going on too fast, a lot of information distilled down too much. I'd like to see the writing, say more, show more.
You have a compelling writing style and interesting details (skin like rice paper). Good luck.