The snippet I have for this week is the second 250 or so words of my latest short story contest entry which is titled “A Pinch of Sugar.” Last week the main character named Alex boarded a plane headed off to a much needed weekend away.
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Alex let his eyes close so he could separate from the stress of the week and concentrate on the weekend ahead. His memories of Haley were just the answer for his weary mind. She was so much fun to be with and fun was a perfect alternative to the pressure cooker at work. He felt like a kid again with Haley. She was carefree, happy and gorgeous. The kind of beauty every guy imagines they might find, but hardly ever do.
Their meeting was by chance. He was on a business trip for his company, part of a seminar in the same city he aimed for tonight. She was there representing as associated company with ties in the same business. During one of the evening icebreaker gatherings they exchanged admiring looks around the crowded bar.
A secluded corner gave them the opportunity to make a connection. Alex felt an undeniable attraction as soon as her perfume reached his nose. Then she smiled at him and he was hooked. Her shoulder length blonde locks were another plus as was the way they framed her face. Alex always loved the blondes, it was a fatal flaw.
Haley wore a silk blouse and skirt that accentuated her well-tanned legs. He knew his eyes were wandering too far, but for the life of him he could not stop his admiration. He wondered if Haley was doing the same. If so she was much better at keeping it from being obvious. Alex was satisfied with the look he projected. It was something that mattered, so he made the effort to keep himself in shape.
He thought back to something he said that elicited an excited laugh from Haley. She leaned forward and touched his hand, sending bursts of electricity through his arm. He looked into her eyes and saw only excitement and an invitation for more. He leaned forward to say just four words. She smiled again and nodded, and then stood and picked up her purse.
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I like this flashback, especially how you involve all the senses. It gives us a nice sense of what he’s fighting for.
I think you have a typo (as/an) in “representing as associated company with ties in the same business.” The phrase also confuses me a bit, as it feels like it’s saying the same thing twice–if a company is associated with another, then don’t they have ties to the same business?
“He thought back to something he said that elicited an excited laugh from Haley.” You’re switching to the present–the airplane–and then back again with the next sentence, right? If that’s what you want to do, I’d want a little more to know why. Otherwise, framing the memory in one piece would make the most sense to me.
“Just four words”, huh? I’m now counting on my fingers trying to decide what he might have said–nicely done!
Thanks for the critique Caitlin. I will take a look.
I like your first line, though I’m unsure about ‘separate’ as a word choice. I know what you mean, but it gave me an impression of there being a word missing.
That pressure cooker line is fab too; did you mean that in a literal sense? Regardless, the imagery really works for me.
Watch out for phrases like ‘for the like of him;’ they can sound clichéd and while the rest of this is so well written, it stands out.
My only gripe with this piece is the number of times you use ‘was.’ I can see it everywhere and I feel that the piece would be much stronger if you looked again at each instance in which you used it. Not to get rid of every single one – that would be madness! – but there are certainly places where you could swap ‘was’ out for a more powerful word. This will up your pace, streamline your word count and pack a much harder punch over all.
Thanks Ileandra. I will go back and look at these suggestions. It is like having another editor on my staff. 🙂
Glad to help! It’s why I love this hop. ^_^
The scene is painted well– now to really make it shine work on removing he tell words –felt, was, were, wore. You also used “leaned” twice in the last paragraph. Good luck with it!
Wow Jennifer you are good at this. I normally can see that kind of stuff, but I missed it this time. Thanks for the second look.
Glad I could help!