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DOGGONE VOICE: KISSING FROGS

Friday, 29 June 2012  |  Posted by Brenda
 

 

Title: KISSING FROGS
Genre: YA Contemporary
I’m not exactly the fairy-tale princess type. Flowers don’t bloom at my feet, and birds don’t follow me around, singing happy little songs. I’m seventeen years old, and I’ve never even been out on a real date.
Not that I’m waiting for Prince Charming to come riding in on a white horse and plant a magical kiss on my virgin lips that will suddenly make my whole life perfect, but I still wish that kind of perfect, true love existed.
I know I’m too old to believe in fairy tales, but I want to find a guy who loves me for who I am, and doesn’t just want to get in my pants. So when my best guy friend, Jarod, pretends to be in love with me, it’s kind of fun to play along.
“Hi gorgeous.” Jarod met me at my classroom door and took my books.
“Hey, Jarod. What’s up?”
He grinned. Then, he wiggled his eyebrows and winked.
My cheeks blazed. “Ugh. Don’t be such a pervert. You know what I meant.”
“Yeah,” he laughed. “But you’re cute when you’re embarrassed.”
He twirled the combination and yanked my locker open. He dropped his backpack on the bottom shelf and handed my flute to me. “No homework today, right?”
I shook my head.
He started to close the locker door, but he stopped when he saw the tattered paper, taped below the mirror. “Where did this come from?” he demanded, tearing it down and crumpling it in his fist.

Filed: Misc, Workshops

7 Comments
  • Leigh Ann says:

    Ooh, cute title! This is an example of when even a title has good voice. I already get a feel for the book before I open the cover. Very nice.

    My chief concern here is that you’re opening with present tense and then moving us to past. It makes me stress about what’s going on here, what you’re trying to accomplish, instead of just letting me experience/remember things with your character.

    Also the nature of the first few paragraphs kind of jolts me out of the voice I think you intend, to be honest. It might be just me, but opening with self-reflection of this length almost always makes me think the MC is self-centered and moony and will spend the entire book being that way. So I lose sympathy with her. Put me into a situation with her and intersperse these thoughts as they relate to what’s going on, sure. But I don’t think it does the voice a service to open this way.

    Sounds cool! I want to know what Jarod was upset about. 😀

  • Marieke says:

    This is such a cute start, and such a cute premise. And yeah, such a cute voice too. 🙂

    I think the first paragraph nails it. I am pretty sure you don’t need the second or the third, because it begins to feel a bit gimmicky there (especially with shift in tenses). But the first was a great intro, not just for the story but for the character.

    Following up on that, I would love ot see that same voice shine in the next couple of paragraphs. There a lot of potential for awesome here 🙂

  • callmebecks says:

    To be honest, the first three paragraphs don’t grab me. The title is cute, and the Jarod/MC interaction shows adorable-ness potential. However, the very beginning is a lot of the MC breaking the fourth wall and handing me information. I’d rather get to know her by what she’s doing and how she interacts with others and less by her telling me.

    IN-LINE CRITS
    I’m not exactly the fairy-tale princess type. Flowers don’t bloom at my feet, and birds don’t follow me around, singing happy little songs. I’m seventeen years old, and I’ve never even been out on a real date.

    Not that I’m waiting for Prince Charming to come riding in on a white horse and plant a magical kiss on my virgin lips that will suddenly make my whole life perfect, but I still wish that kind of perfect, (Watch the double-use of “perfect.”) true love existed.

    I know I’m too old to believe in fairy tales, but I want to find a guy who loves me for who I am (deleted comma) and doesn’t just want to get in my pants. So when my best guy friend, Jarod, pretends to be in love with me, it’s kind of fun to play along.

    “Hi, (added comma) gorgeous.” Jarod met me at my classroom door and took my books.

    “Hey, Jarod. What’s up?”

    He grinned. Then, he wiggled his eyebrows and winked.

    My cheeks blazed. “Ugh. Don’t be such a pervert. You know what I meant.”

    “Yeah,” he laughed. “But you’re cute when you’re embarrassed.”

    He twirled the combination and yanked my locker open. He dropped his backpack on the bottom shelf and handed my flute to me. “No homework today, right?” (At this point, I’m not connecting with the MC and a little concerned. If she’s not active enough to open her own locker and get out her own flute, then I worry that passivity will be a problem throughout.)

    I shook my head.

    He started to close the locker door, but he stopped when he saw the tattered paper, taped below the mirror. “Where did this come from?” he demanded, tearing it down and crumpling it in his fist.

  • Thank you all so much for your comments! I’m going to go back over my manuscript with your suggestions in mind to try to make it sparkle 🙂

  • Sorry it took me so long to post revisions. I’ve been crazy busy here, in the middle of preparations for a cross-country move. If anyone is still lurking around, though, I’d love some feedback on this. I’ve tried to tighten things up a bit, in light of your comments. Is this better? Worse? Or just different?

    I’m not exactly the fairy-tale princess type. Flowers don’t bloom at my feet, and birds don’t follow me around, singing happy little songs. I’m seventeen years old, and I’ve never even been out on a real date.

    Not that I’m waiting for Prince Charming to come riding in on a white horse and plant a magical kiss on my virgin lips that will suddenly make my whole life perfect, but I still wish I could find a guy who doesn’t just want to get in my pants. So when my best guy friend, Jarod, pretends to be in love with me, it’s kind of fun to play along.

    “Hi gorgeous.” Jarod meets me at my classroom door and takes my books.

    “Hey, Jarod. What’s up?”

    He grins. Then, he wiggles his eyebrows and winks.

    My cheeks blaze. “Ugh. Don’t be such a pervert. You know what I meant.”

    “Yeah,” he laughs. “But you’re cute when you’re embarrassed.”

    He twirls the combination and yanks my locker open. He drops his backpack on the bottom shelf and hands my flute to me. “No homework today, right?”

    I shake my head.

    He starts to close the locker door, but stops when he sees the tattered paper, taped below the mirror. “Where did this come from?” he demands, tearing it down and crumpling it in his fist.

    I roll my eyes. “The list fairy put it there. Where do you think?”

    He frowns. “Yeah, well your list fairy is a b—”

  • Lola7384 says:

    Such a cute and quirky title!

    I envy the people in reality who haven’t had to kiss their fair share frogs before finding their handsome prince. *sighs*

    Now on to the voice, which is equally quirky and cute.

    Your opening line is great, but I feel like it would pack way more of a punch if you showed us how she’s not exactly the fairy-tale princess type.

    Then the reader can get a clearer picture. If your MC trips over her own feet and her books scatter across the hall. We get it. Oh we sooo get that she’s not that type. I definitely think the visual will add more to the opening line too. You have to watch the telling and focus on the showing.

    Also FYI… it is perfectly acceptable to bounce back and forth between past tense and present tense in a novel that is primarily written in present tense. You may use past tense when referring to something that happened outside of the novel.

    EX ~ It was just yesterday that my best guy friend, Jarod, decided he was going to pretend to be in love with me.

    See what I mean?

    Hope this helps!

  • Thank you so much! It really does help 🙂

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