Saturday, July 6, 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors 7/07/13

Street Glass is my novel-in-progress. My tagline: Underprivileged 18-yr-old Latino leaves street gang and befriends white, over-privileged musicians.

While some of the plot is subject to change (draft two is a pretty early draft, after all) the basic elements will stay, as will the character "voices." So these excerpts will still give you a good idea of how the plot plays out and what the characters are like. The year is 1986, in Los Angeles, California.

All the previous excerpts are collected here.

I’m now referring to Razor as Neal, which is his given name. Set-up: Sandy has brought Neal back to the mansion the band shares. The rest of the band is not home. Sandy falls asleep and Neal roams through the rooms. He finds a room full of musical instruments. He wanders around the room, reflecting on the last several hours.

This section has been significantly condensed to fit the 8 sentence limit.
Neal dropped onto the piano bench. What if I just done somethin’ stupid, what if I can’t make it here? Me, work for a bunch of filthy rich Anglo musicians? I shouldn’a let ’im talk me into it . . . nothin’ to go back to, blood on my hands.

Thoughts went around and around, bouncing off each other until he pressed his hands against his eyes. Getting to his feet, he saw that a small lamp on top of the piano shone onto a bunch of papers; the top sheet was covered in handwriting and something that might have been a title, “New Day”, with Sandy’s name under that.

Neal read it all the way through and came back to the first lines.

Maybe Sandy didn't just say that stuff to get out of the barrio . . . tomorrow Neal would find out.

I cut the lyrics from the excerpt but for those interested, here they are:

Sun comes up over a brand new world
Got to take my dreams, fulfill that promise
Full of hope, the sky unfurled
It makes me want to still be honest

Tag along at Weekend Writing Warriors as we blog hop all over the world, reading fabulous snippets from works in progress, works just published and some just about to be. It's interesting to read comments and see who had the same impression as you and who read the snippet a different way. Personally, I not only love the kind things people say about my own story, but the sentence limit forces me to think about what needs to be said and what doesn't. That's very valuable for a writer.

Thanks for visiting my blog today. Comments gratefully accepted :-D

23 comments:

  1. The last line is a very nice hook. Piqued my curiosity immediately.

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    1. Thanks very much. The full scene has more back and forth from Neal, weighing his chances of being able to make it in a world of rich white guys, and we see more emotion from him. It was tough to pick the best lines from that scene.

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  2. I'm completely caught up in Neal's second thoughts and can't wait to read more. This story is absolutely riveting!

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    1. Debbie that's so sweet of you :) I'm hoping to show that Neal's a 3-D guy, somebody with feelings and hopes and fears underneath his tough exterior.

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  3. Nice snippet, Marcia. Your story is intriguing...I'm in.

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  4. I am officially curious and would happily read more.

    I like Neal's voice (although I often find written dialect hard to stomach in large doses) and I can feel his worry radiating off the page.

    The lyrics are lovely, too.

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    1. Thank you, thank you. Sometimes I stumble with Neal's dialog because what I hear in my head isn't easy to get onto a page. When he uses English, he tends to talk fast and slur over some syllables because he's so used to Spanish; slangy Spanish, at that.

      It's always a fine line between enough dialect to accurately portray the character, and so much that readers get annoyed!

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  5. Great snippet. Love that the song lyrics caught his attention that way...

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    1. You like that! Thanks for saying that. I want to show early on that he's interested in reading and in self-expression, so it will seem natural when he gets involved with other things :)

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  6. Interesting that his attention was caught by the lyrics, not bu the expensive instruments.

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    1. *laff*! Well, in the full scene he does go around the room touching the instruments. It's then that the enormity of what he's done starts to sink in. Those aren't garage-band instruments, and he's not in Kansas anymore!

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  7. I thought Neal's self doubts were very realistic and I LOVED that the song lyrics are what gave him hope to hang on and see what happens next. Excellent excerpt!

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    1. Hey thanks for that! He's pretty much stuck where he is so he needs something to give him hope. He likes reading; that comes out more as the story continues.

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  8. Do I see a hint of trust finally breaking through for Neal? Excellent snippet. I thought the lyrics were cool. Glad you added it after so we can see what Neal sees.

    History Sleuth's Milk Carton Murders

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    1. Notice that the hint of trust only happens when he's alone, and it's only a hint. He's got a long way to go.

      I'm glad you like the lyrics--Sandy's a non-stop optimist! I wasn't sure in this short excerpt that it was clear Sandy wrote the lyrics.

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  9. "Thoughts went around and around, bouncing off each other until he pressed his hands against his eyes." I'm in awe. You have so much love for your characters.

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    1. *laff* Is it love or is it //obsession// ?

      And who's obsessed with who? These people don't leave me alone, I've heard Sandy singing in my head (he sounds something like Gerry Beckley of the band America). I hear Neal's voice loud and clear all the time. Me, the characters, what's the difference? ;-)

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  10. Ah, is Sandy hiding some secrets? Interesting.

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    1. There might be one or two things he doesn't like to talk about ;-)

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  11. You write Neal so well--and you pull the reader right into his head. I can't help but feel for him. Scared, full of doubt, blood on his hands, yet so quintessentially human--he has hope. :-) Nice job, Marcia! :-)

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  12. This is getting interesting. I like how Neal's life totally changed. He must be scared as hell though.

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