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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wewriwa on the Last Weekend of September

Welcome to another addition of the 

Weekend Writing Warriors



Hop on over to the main page and check out the wonderful snippets from a variety of genres.


Last week I abandoned my YA manuscript and gave my dear readers a middle grade snippet. Here is another sample from MRS. ZIMMERMAN'S DONUTS. Since the manuscript is unpublished, feel free to put on your "Evil Editor" hats and give me some honest yet constructive feedback. I can take it! 

I've struggled to write my metaphor without using words that take the reader off the page. This has been a challenge. To quote Mark Twain, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightening bug." Please help me to strike lightning as I introduce this kid.


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My thoughts and everything else rattled as the door flung open and smashed into the wall. Slater Slatker, the new kid, burst into the room followed by papers flying off desks and swirling into an air dance before settling onto the floor. With a smile that reached from ear to ear, he blew a whirlwind of charm toward my class, and within two minutes, knew them better than I had after five years. Obviously, Slater was used to spinning dirt while making his tornadic path, which meant life wouldn't be the same in the wake of his destruction. His brown Mohawk spiked on top of his head into a stiffly gelled shark fin. He wore faded red shorts and a sleeveless skateboarding T-shirt on that chilly October morning. The entire class turned toward him as he stomped his monstrous Nikes onto the gray tiles. That kid had the biggest darn feet I’d ever seen, and a mouth to match.

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19 comments:

Teresa Cypher said...

:-) I'm trying to be tough--but it's danged good! I don't think I'd change anything. The visual is excellent. I had no problem seeing him and what he was doing. And it was nice how you worked bits of it into her internal monologue, rather than into an infodump. Nicely done, Joyce.

Rhonda Albom said...

I like Slater. He seems like a cool, confident kid. Nice passage. My only editorial question, why did the papers fly? If is was from the door being flung open, the order would be door, papers, Slater. Unless, Slater came in as the door swung open.

Chelle Cordero said...

From the short snippet it's hard to tell if the Slater kid has some kind of magical powers or if this is just the awe-factor perspective from your protagonist. Either way the description about blowing charm into the classroom is terrific from a child's POV. I'm interested to read more. Great snippet.

Joyce Lansky said...

Thanks for the comments. Good point, Rhonda. I adjusted the passage.

My thoughts and everything else rattled as the door flung open and smashed into the wall causing papers to fly off desks and swirl into an air dance before settling onto the floor. Slater Slatker, the new kid, burst inside with a smile that reached from ear to ear.

gemma parkes said...

It's very effective and certainly describes him as a larger than life character, I like the change you made in the comment above, it works really well!

Millie Burns said...

Seems like a larger than life kid...what grade is this set in? If Junior high the Mohawk works for me, if elementary...maybe too much. It wouldn't fly with dress codes...

Meka James said...

great introduction. I'm not really good with the metaphors and such in descriptions (something I struggle with) but I like what you did. You were able to paint a very vivid picture of Slater.

The only thing that felt a little off to me was this sentence: His brown Mohawk spiked on top of his head into a stiffly gelled shark fin.

I felt like the word 'was' and 'like' were needed in there.

**His brown Mohawk was spiked on top of his head like a stiffly gelled shark fin.

alexisduranblog.com said...

I found this to be engaging, vivid and very fun. Since you asked for nitpicking, I'd suggest that you don't need to say "on top of his head" because that's where a Mohawk would be. Great eight!

Elaine Cantrell said...

I think this is great. I can just imagine the changes the kid brings with him.

Cara Bristol said...

What a fun snippet. I really enjoyed this. I wouldn't worry too much about getting a critique for eight sentences. It's so hard to offer anything constructive when it's so short.

Botanist said...

As others have said, very vivid description. The kind of person - all larger than life natural charm - that I hate. These kids always had it so easy :) Rightly or wrongly I get a sense of that tension in the 2 minutes v. 5 years observation.

Veronica Scott said...

OH excellent!!! I loved this and the picture you drew of the entire scene. What a remarkable snippet :-)

Joyce Lansky said...

Thanks for all of the feedback for my work in progress. Although my Slater is a fifth grader, the character is based off of a real life third grader who wore his mohawk to school and charmed his class.

messymimi said...

Agreeing with Joyce, the kid would be the kind of person who would have me counting my fingers after shaking hands with him, just to be sure!

Great descriptions!

mail4rosey said...

That is a great (accurate) Mark Twain quote.

I love 'my thoughts and everything else rattled...' The very first line was a draw-in.

The words do leave you wanting to know more about what spice Slater's going to bring to the classroom (by just being Slater).

homecomingbook said...

If he's moving fast, the wind created by his passage cound move papers. And I love the big feet!

homecomingbook said...

If he's moving fast, the wind created by his passage cound move papers. And I love the big feet!

Michael Todd said...

You had my complete attention, with every word. And, now I really want doughnuts.

yawattahosby said...

I loved this snippet. It was cute and fun. You described Slater in such a creative way, that I was very intrigued. My favorite line: "Within two minutes, [Slater] knew them better than I had in five years." Sounds like jealousy 101 :)

Keep smiling,
Yawatta