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DOGGONE VOICE EXT: SOUTHERN FORTUNE

Friday, 29 June 2012  |  Posted by Brenda
 
Title: SOUTHERN FORTUNE
Genre: YA mystery with paranormal and romantic elements
“I am such a freak!”
I smashed the pink polka dot pillow against my face hoping to smother the vision burned into my brain like a cow branding. Seriously, flinging your body into a snow cone stand right in the middle of your first kiss was bad enough, but having it filmed by half the school on their color coordinated cellphones was guaranteed instant YouTube fame.
“Stop bein’ so dramatic Rawnie” my best friend Jenny tried to reason.
Easy for her to say, I still hadn’t shared what caused the whole horrible kissing debacle.  Just thinking about it sent fear racing through my body faster than a chorus of hallelujahs during Sunday service.
I could hear Jenny’s fingers quickly typing away on her laptop as she googled my name.  After about five seconds the computer was off and she was frantically organizing my closet.  I was convinced she was the product of some weird science experiment involving Martha Stewart and Mark Zuckerberg.
“Sa-ee-ya? The internet world is still Rawnie-free.  Yer just over blowin’ this whole thang”
Jenny’s ability to take the simplest words and draw them out into three syllables was a misunderstood superpower.  She would have been a perfect member of the GRITS (Girls Raised in the South).  Well, that is if she wasn’t Lutheran and her dad wasn’t born and raised in New Jersey.  Wanna know the only thing worse than a half-Yankee Lutheran in the small Southern Baptist town of Fortune Hills, NC?  Being Catholic AND a Gypsy (or basically ME).

Filed: Misc, Workshops

6 Comments
  • Leigh Ann says:

    Ohhh heavens. The pop culture in this is thick and sweet and fabulous. Like a mint julep (see what I did there? Ha!) My favorite? Martha Stewart and Mark Zuckerberg. Priceless. The southern-ness and smartness of the voice is just CLEAR and THERE and IN-MY-FACE.

    In fact, that might be my only problem with it. There’s just too much. I’d cut the cute phrases by the third (surely you can redistribute them somewhere else fabulous? 😉 ) Also, I’d take that last paragraph off the first page and cut to the chase. I want to know what happened! This paragraph about Jenny is very cute and funny, but it’s sidetracking me from what I want to know, so I think it has the unfortunate side effect of making me a little annoyed with Rawnie.

    NICE. WORK. Awesome voice.

  • Meredith says:

    “I am SUCH a freak!”

    I smashed the pink polka dot pillow against my face hoping to smother the vision burned into my brain like a cow branding. Seriously, flinging your body into a snow cone stand right in the middle of your first kiss was bad enough, but having it filmed by half the school on their color coordinated cell phones was guaranteed instant YouTube fame.

    “Stop bein’ so dramatic Rawnie” my best friend Jenny tried to reason.

    Easy for her to say, I still hadn’t shared what caused the whole horrible kissing debacle. Just thinking about it sent fear racing through my body faster than a chorus of hallelujahs during Sunday service.

    I could hear Jenny’s fingers typing away on her lime-green laptop as she googled my name. After about five seconds the computer was off and she was frantically organizing my closet. I was convinced she was the product of some weird science experiment involving Martha Stewart and Mark Zuckerberg.

    “Relax. The internet world is still Rawnie-free. Yer just overblowin’ this whole thang”

    Maybe she was right. Doubtful, but morphing into the abominable cherry red snow cone was the least of my worries. No, what I saw when Seth kissed me was much worse. Why didn’t I listen to my mom’s wild stories about the family “gift?” I was so concerned about looking normal I tuned her out. I never believed it was possible, but if it wasn’t, then what exactly would that make me? Most normal sixteen year old girls don’t see their boyfriend’s murder during a kiss.

  • Marieke says:

    Haha, suddenly I’m commenting on ALL THE GENRES. Okay, not really, it’s only the second one. Still, be careful about using too many descriptions for your story. I’m pretty sure there’s no bookshelf in any library marked “mystery with paranormal and romantic elements”, so try to keep that as a reference. Paranormal mystery might work though!

    I love the Southern voice of this though, SO perfect! I’m dittoing what Leigh Ann said, I definitely agree about the last paragraph. That way, you may be able to ease into the voice a ltitle more. Having said that, it wasn’t overkill for me; it made me smile because it’s so well done.

    Your revised last paragraph is a LOT stronger, and a great way to keep the reader turning the page!

    Also, Martha Stewart and Mark Zuckerberg? Total win.

    Great job!

  • Brenda Drake says:

    This voice is AWESOME. I love Rawnie. I like the new paragraph and its placement. It got me into the story faster and made me want to read on. By ending where you did, you hooked me. I was surprised that she witnessed her boyfriend’s murder and wanted to read on.

    I just hope you use some of the the first version’s last paragraph somewhere else. It shows us the two girls are outcasts because of their religious differences from the norm in the place they live. I loved the bit about GRITS.

    I’m not sure I like starting with “I’m such a freak”. I’d like to know the reason why she thinks this before she says it. This could just be my preference and others may feel differently than me. I’d like to see it start like this…

    (I could hear Jenny’s fingers typing away on her lime-green laptop as she googled my name. After about five seconds the computer was off and she was frantically organizing my closet. I was convinced she was the product of some weird science experiment involving Martha Stewart and Mark Zuckerberg.

    “Relax. The internet world is still Rawnie-free. Yer just over blowin’ this whole thang”

    “I am SUCH a freak!”

    I smashed the pink polka dot pillow against my face hoping to smother the vision burned into my brain like a cow branding. Seriously, flinging your body into a snow cone stand right in the middle of your first kiss was bad enough, but having it filmed by half the school on their color coordinated cell phones was guaranteed instant YouTube fame.

    “Stop bein’ so dramatic Rawnie” my best friend Jenny tried to reason.

    Maybe she was right. Doubtful, but morphing into the abominable cherry red snow cone was the least of my worries. No, what I saw when Seth kissed me was much worse. Why didn’t I listen to my mom’s wild stories about the family “gift?” I was so concerned about looking normal I tuned her out. I never believed it was possible, but if it wasn’t, then what exactly would that make me? Most normal sixteen year old girls don’t see their boyfriend’s murder during a kiss.)

    Of course you may need to rework it. But please wait to see what Lauren Hammond says.

    Your description of her friend by using the Martha Stewart/Mark Zuckerberg mashup is a great example of igniting an image in your reader’s mind.

    What can I say? I loved the voice in the first and in the second. Brilliant!

  • callmebecks says:

    It’s 100% personal preference, but I’m not a fan of starting with dialogue. I’d much rather have her flailing around on her bed, Jenny admonishing her about it, and stick the “such a freak” dialogue somewhere a little further down.

    I agree with Brenda – I really like the last paragraph from the original. I think those two sentences at the end (“Wanna know the only thing worse than a half-Yankee Lutheran in the small Southern Baptist town of Fortune Hills, NC? Being Catholic AND a Gypsy (or basically ME).”) say a lot about these girls, so I hope you keep it in mss.

    IN-LINE CRITS:
    “I am SUCH a freak!”

    I smashed the pink polka dot pillow against my face, (added comma) hoping to smother the vision burned into my brain like a cow branding. Seriously, (I don’t think you need this – it just bogs down the voice) flinging your body into a snow cone stand right in the middle of your first kiss was bad enough, but having it filmed by half the school on their color coordinated (Is this detail important? To me, it muddles the voice/pace) cell phones was guaranteed instant YouTube fame.

    “Stop bein’ so dramatic, Rawnie,” (added commas) my best friend Jenny tried to reason. (I think you can simplify this to just “Jenny said”. It’s obvious from their interactions that they’re close friends.)

    Easy for her to say. (added period) I still hadn’t shared what caused the whole horrible kissing debacle. Just thinking about it sent fear racing through my body faster than a chorus of hallelujahs during Sunday service. (I do like these Southern-focused comparisons a lot because it gives the voice some wonderful distinct flavor, but make sure you’re not overdoing it. This one, for example, pulls me out. Is she saying that hallelujahs make her fearful? That’s what it seems, but it’s not clear enough that I “get it” right away (which could just be my own fail). Instead, I have to stop and puzzle over it.)

    I could hear Jenny’s fingers typing away on her lime-green laptop as she googled my name. After about five seconds, (added comma) the computer was off, (added comma) and she was frantically organizing my closet. I was convinced she was the product of some weird science experiment involving Martha Stewart and Mark Zuckerberg.

    “Relax. The internet world is still Rawnie-free. Yer just overblowin’ this whole thang.” (added period) (I would caution to be careful with too much dialect. It can work, but it can also turn people off depending on how it’s done and it might takeaway from Jenny’s character more than it adds.)

    Maybe she was right. Doubtful, but morphing into the abominable cherry red snow cone was the least of my worries. (This sentence throws me off again. Is the red snow cone comparison just meaning she’s embarrassed? It’s a little too cutesy to be clear.) No, what I saw when Seth kissed me was much worse. Why didn’t I listen to my mom’s wild stories about the family “gift?” I was so concerned about looking normal I tuned her out. I never believed it was possible, but if it wasn’t, then what exactly would that make me? (This sentence is a bit convoluted. I think you can simplify it: “I never believed it was possible, but now I wasn’t so sure.”) Most normal sixteen-year-old (added hypens) girls don’t see their boyfriend’s murder during a kiss. (Love this line.)

  • Meredith says:

    Southern Fortune
    YA Paranormal

    I could hear Jenny’s fingers typing away on her lime-green laptop as she googled my name. After about five seconds, the computer was off, and she was frantically organizing my closet. I was convinced she was the product of some weird science experiment involving Martha Stewart and Mark Zuckerberg.

    “Relax. The internet world is still Rawnie-free. Yer just overblowin’ this whole thing.”

    “I am SUCH a freak!”

    I smashed the pink polka dot pillow against my face, hoping to smother the vision burned into my brain like a cow branding. Flinging your body into a snow cone stand right in the middle of your first kiss was bad enough, but having it filmed by half the school on their cell phones was guaranteed instant YouTube fame.

    “Stop bein’ so dramatic Rawnie.”

    Easy for her to say. I still hadn’t shared what caused the whole horrible kissing debacle. Just thinking about it sent chills racing through my body faster than a chorus of hallelujahs during a Sunday service.

    Maybe she was right. Doubtful, but it didn’t really matter. What I saw when Seth kissed me was much worse than my plummeting social status. Why didn’t I listen to my mom’s wild stories about the family “gift?” I was so concerned about looking normal I tuned her out. I never believed it was possible, but now I wasn’t so sure. Most normal sixteen-year-old girls don’t see their boyfriend’s murder during a kiss.

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