Saturday, July 27, 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors 7/28/13

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.

After Neal’s dramatic gesture, the band decides to go along with letting him live in the mansion. Sandy and Len take Neal to a clothing retailer for some new threads; there’s a bit of a scene when a teenaged fan recognizes the band members, but today’s excerpt concerns Neal’s reaction to wearing new clothes bought just for him. He’s spent the last 8 years with a street gang and had no place of his own to live in; the only new stuff he’s gotten has been stolen and he hasn’t thought of those things as truly his.

At the store, he tries on some clothes and is surprised when the mirror shows him how different (and, he thinks, better) he looks.

About the mention of his skin color: he’s part Latino, not African-American. That’s clear in the full story but in these excerpts, it might get confusing.

We continue in Neal’s POV (MF refers to the gang he was part of):
But the pale shirt made his dark eyes and hair, and especially his skin, so obvious. Thanks to his mother’s family his skin was lighter than most of his friends, though that was all he could thank her for; still, there wasn’t any sense in making himself stand out.
He pulled off the shirt and put on a brown one with black stripes; yeah, that was better. He couldn’t remember the last time he wore anything but the same t-shirt and baggy pants everybody in MF wore.
He smiled at his reflection, then stuffed his baggie into the back pocket of his new jeans. 

On the way back to the store entrance, people turned to watch him and his new friends. He slowed down. These people’s eyes were interested, not scared or pissed. So this must be what it was like to be normal.
Hmmm, what's in that baggie that makes it important enough to carry with him??

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. You'll find various genres and blends of genres. Believe me, our participating writers have full and active imaginations!

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

18 comments:

  1. Darn Blogger! You can't touch a scheduled post before it goes live, because all too often it reverts to Draft and you don't think to check ... !

    Even though it says that post went up at 8:00 pm, I just got it up immediately before posting this comment--fooey!

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  2. That last sentence is gold. I love the conclusion. With that one remark you can sense the history, and the long years with the gang, and maybe there is even a bit of longing for a certain "normality". Excellent. :)

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    1. Aw thanks Dana! You're right, he does long for what he thinks is normality. But is "normal" all it's cracked up to be?

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  3. I latched onto the baggie immediately and so want to know what's in it! Glad to see Neal starting to feel comfortable in a more "normal" environment. Love this story!

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    1. Ha ha! You're observant. We'll find out about the baggie soon.

      He still doesn't really have "normal" yet, because now he's hanging with rock stars. He doesn't realize yet how crazy that lifestyle is.

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  4. You get a real sense of Neal's growing out of the gang persona--great 8!

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  5. Love the view of how Neal thinks of himself and his new revelation of what normal is like. Very well done! I hope it's not drugs in the baggie though!!
    History Sleuth's Milk Carton Murders

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    1. Well, you'll have to come back to find out, unless you want to beta read for me :-D

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  6. Interesting scene, thought provoking, but somehow I'm sure his transition out of gang life won't be so easy. Excellent excerpt!

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    1. Easy? I don't even know what the word means! :-D

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  7. He's trying to see himself as others see him.

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    1. Hi Sue Ann. He's hoping others see him differently now. He's also hoping that looking a little different physically will be what accomplishes that.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Enjoyed that very much. Weed or Coke in that baggie?

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    1. Or possibly something else, even? Who knows! Nice to see you, Millie.

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  9. I like this--being in Neal's head. It's such a candid sharing of how vulnerable he really is. The way you write let's the reader see his wheels turn. He really does cover up insecurity with anger. Such a chip on his shoulder...

    Good 8, Marcia. And, hey--I've been to Letchworth State Park, too! :-)

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    1. omg, it really is a small world, isn't it!! And isn't it a gorgeous park?

      Thanks hon. Neal's pretty easy for me to write, it's Sandy who gives me trouble. I'm fascinated by that; something's gumming up the pipeline between him and me and I don't know what it is. *shrug*

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