Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gabriela Lessa holds a Contest Judged by Weronika Janczuk

Gabriela lives in Brazil so they celebrate Valentine's Day in June not February.  So in honor of that she is holding on contest starting Today. For the rules click here to find out more!

As for this blog, I'm be posting my entry. 

Name: Cynthia Elomaa
Title: Standing Ground
Genre: YA Comtemporary
Entry word count: No more than 750
Manuscript word count: 66,406
Link number: 20
Scene 655

This is from my finished manuscript, a young adult novel, Standing Ground.

You’re doing it again.” Kyle smiled. Reagan could tell he was trying to hold his laugh in.
Reagan grabbed her hand and slapped Kyle on his hand.
Stop that.” She was getting mad and frustrated at him and herself for letting him get to her.
I didn’t do anything.” Kyle gave amused laugh.
Yes you did.” She hated it when he pretended to be all innocent when he wasn't. Reagan hit him on the arm.
What did I do?” Kyle laughed again as he dropped his sandwich and raise his hands to fend off Reagan’s weak attempt of an attack. He was laughing at her and his smile lit up his whole face. I can’t believe how much he is enjoying teasing me, Reagan screamed in her head. Kyle lay on his back trying to ward her off. She punched him in the arms and chest as hard as she could, but he just laughed and she hit him harder and harder.
Ouch.” Kyle finally said when Reagan hit him hard enough for him to feel something.
Okay, okay,” Kyle grabbed her wrists. “I give up.”
Reagan's hair fell in front of her face and rested on Kyle’s chest. He was breathing heavy trying to catch his breath. Her face was inches from his and she stared into his warm brown eyes feeling her heart skip a beat. She tried to catch her breath but she couldn't fill her lungs. She felt frozen in place, she couldn't look away from those dark pools. She tried to get up, but he wouldn’t let her. He kept her pined down to him, staring back at her.
If I let go of your wrists are you going to hit me again?” Kyle finally asked between breaths.
Reagan mouth quivered. “No.” Reagan whispered. It was all she could manage to say.
Kyle still held her firmly to his chest though. Her face still was only inches from his. He continued to stare into her eyes. He was so stupid some times. He has no idea. Finally he let her go.
Reagan pulled herself up easily and punched Kyle in the chest as hard as she could. She gasped as Kyle pushed her down on the blanket straddling her. He was on top of her. His smiling face was inches from hers again. Her hands were pinned against his chest because of the weight of him. His arms above her head holding himself up.
I said don’t hit me.” Kyle said in a serious tone, but his lips and his eyes were smiling at her.
You deserved it.” Reagan smiled back sheepishly.
You didn’t answer the question.” Kyle said, his eyes roaming over her face.
Reagan tried to think. How could she think when he was leaning over her like that? “What was the question?” Reagan tried to remember.
What did I do to make you blush?” Kyle asked husky. His eyes still roaming over her face.
It was none of his business. She didn’t really want him to know. “That.” Reagan took a deep breath giving in. She felt like a weakling giving in so easily, but he was so hard to resist.
I didn’t do anything.” Kyle insisted, staring down at her.
Yes you did.” Her heart was racing. Could he hear her heart pounding in her chest?
What?” Kyle kept staring at her. She couldn't look away from those eyes.
That.” She tried again. She was breathing too fast.
What?” Kyle egged her on.
She tried to answer, but couldn’t. Kyle was staring at her. It was a new look, one she couldn’t place. Reagan’s stomach growled and Kyle pulled her up. It took a minute for her senses to return.
We should eat. Lunch only lasts so long.” Kyle said handing Reagan her sandwich.


  1. Nice. I smiled at her grumbling stomach. There are a few errors with punctuation with dialogue. example: "You didn't answer the question(,)" Kyle said. I'm sure you'll catch them during edits.

    Good luck!

  2. As E. noted, there are some errors here that should be caught in copy edit (or exchange with a crit partner: "asked husky" instead of "asked huskily," for an example).

    The other note I'd make is to resist the temptation to cut up dialogue. We're taught in school to use words OTHER than "said" and "asked," but the more descriptive words and adverbs you use, the more it draws the reader out of the exchange. Don't be afraid to let the dialogue flow naturally and go back to those simple terms (and even get rid of them, especially when it's just two people). Or, alternately, to go ahead and do the narration without the dialogue breaking it up.

    I like how they are playful together and it moves into the tension, which is how real life seems to work.

  3. I want to thank you for the comments. I will definitely be reading this again with these comments on hand to edit. Thanks!

  4. I love the progression of this scene. Where they start out playful and get serious, the flirting that's going on when he's trying to get her to answer his quersion.

    I think that the pace could move a little quicker, though, just by cutting a few sentences here and there (that way their retorts come quick and snappy like) For example: "Her heart was racing. Could he hear her heart pounding in her chest?" I think you could delete the first sentence and just leave the question, and we'll still know her heart is racing.

    Good job. I would want to know more about these characters! They sound great.

  5. I liked this a lot. As others have said, there were a few typos and such, but nothing major. Sometimes, it really helps me to read my own work out loud. It's the only way I can catch those little mistakes, especially after reading it on the computer screen so many times to myself! I also agree about the pacing, I'd cut out a couple of lines, perhaps the redundancy of the "what?" "that" or something. Overall, it's really well done and I wish there was more to read! Good luck! :)

  6. Like the others mentioned, there are a few small tweaks that can be fixed with another read-over/copy edit. You said "pined down" instead of "pinned."

    Also, instead of telling us that she's getting mad and frustrated, show how she's frustrated. You said she slapped his hand, so I think that shows frustration...but I was a little confused by the sentence: "Reagan grabbed her hand and slapped Kyle on his hand." She's grabbing her own hand and slapping his at the same time? Or do you mean she grabbed his hand and slapped it?

    Overall nice job though! Good luck!

  7. I think this scene can be expanded upon to really bring it alive. As it is, it reads like a summary with dialog - the old show vs. tell syndrome. You seem to be telling more than showing. Don't tell me how someone felt, show it. Instead of - Reagan could tell he was trying to hold his laugh in. - show me. How does she know? What gives her that impression?

    I think you have a good scene here.

  8. This was a nice scene--I already like both characters. Kyle and his flirty demeanor, especially. ;) They have a really sweet interplay going on between them. The play-fighting shows the tension and yet the fact that it never goes truly overboard by hurting each other (well, not too much! That Reagan is fiesty!) is another
    testament to their friendship. Very sweet!

    I noticed some typos, as others did too. Nothing major and all stuff I'm sure you'll catch on your next draft. And I would definitely consider deleting some redundant stuff--a lot of the playfighting can be pared down, I think, and still get the point across.

    Good luck!

  9. I like! Ditto the other comments. I would like to read more.

  10. A few typos and punctuation errors kind of bugged me, but overall, this was a good scene. I think the beginning went on a little too long, and went into more detail than was necessary. You could cut to the chase a lot sooner, in my opinion.

  11. Agree with others. Can see this happening, play-fighting becoming more serious. Good tension. Would definitely cut down on the fighting some, seems to go on too long. I'll just add one more example of a typo, "He was breathing heavy(,)[or, breathing heavily,] trying to catch his breath." Fix those small problems and it will improve the work as a whole.

  12. I'll be lame here and ditto the others - you have some great characters here, and I definitely want more =)