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DOGGONE VOICE: WHAT HAPPENS IN WATER

Friday, 29 June 2012  |  Posted by Brenda
 

 

Title: WHAT HAPPENS IN WATER
Genre: YA Contemporary
I have never lost a game of Manhunt.
Cassie isn’t patient enough for hide-and-seek in the dark. She loses interest and would rather be found, squealing and laughing. She’s always been the best at pulling people near her, people who want to hear her stories or raise their cups or kiss her, maybe.
I’m the best at hiding. Running while it’s still dark enough to not get caught. Slipping into small spaces with my knees and elbows covered in dirt. We gave up Manhunt three summers ago. But I am still that girl with her back pressed against the tree, listening to receding footsteps.
I’d give anything to be thirteen and out in the woods. I’d happily take a double period of chemistry while Cassie mouths, “Shoot me” across the table. Instead, I stand on line at the Department of Motor Vehicles for the seventh time, inhaling the smells of sweat, coffee, and nerves of would-be drivers.
Amateurs.
“Name?” the DMV worker asks.
“Savannah—”
“—Kaitlyn Gregory,” my father cuts in.
“This says ‘K.S. Gregory,’” says the DMV worker with the I-don’t-have-time-nor-patience-for-your-discrepancy tone, tapping the blue index card. “Are you K.S. Gregory?”
“Yes,” we say at the same time.
“Fantastic.” DMV Man clearly does not find this fantastic. “Park across from the playground and wait there.”
I pull the keys from Dad’s hand. He tightens a finger around the Oneonta lanyard. Foiled, as usual.

Filed: Misc, Workshops

5 Comments
  • Leigh Ann says:

    Your first sentence kicks butt. Seriously. Tell us so much about character, priorities, and not knowing what “manhunt” is (but still having a sinister name for it!) Pretty much GUARANTEES I’m gonna read on.

    This voice is VERY stream-of-consciousness while still telling us a lot about the other characters and making us wonder about them. It sounds very real, and follows the rhythm of his thoughts – one word sentences like “Amateurs” really hit home on this front.

    I’m just raving over this one. It feels like the writer put herself into the character’s brain and just let him do the typing. Which is exactly how it should feel. *applause*

  • Marieke says:

    Can I just flail about this? Right from the first sentence you have this down. I love Savannah’s voice here, I love the sense that everything is changing and she doesn’t like it.

    And I LOVE “I am still that girl with her back pressed against the tree, listening to receding footsteps.”

    You are doing a great job with giving us enough information for all the characters to be real, while still keeping the narrative focused and moving forward. Would love to see where this is going!

  • callmebecks says:

    There is great voice already all over this. The descriptions are strong, and Savannah comes across clearly from the very start. There’s not a lot more that I can offer except that I love it.

    IN-LINE CRITS
    I have never lost a game of Manhunt.

    Cassie isn’t patient enough for hide-and-seek in the dark. She loses interest and would rather be found, squealing and laughing. She’s always been the best at pulling people near her, people who want to hear her stories or raise their cups or kiss her, maybe. (Unless this is crucial in the near future of the mss, I’d vote to cut this in favor of keeping the focus on the MC, who I’m more interested in.)

    I’m the best at hiding. Running while it’s still dark enough to not get caught. Slipping into small spaces with my knees and elbows covered in dirt. We gave up Manhunt three summers ago. But I am still that girl with her back pressed against the tree, (Love this.) listening to receding footsteps.

    I’d give anything to be thirteen and out in the woods. I’d happily take a double period of chemistry while Cassie mouths, “Shoot me” across the table. Instead, I stand on line at the Department of Motor Vehicles for the seventh time, inhaling the smells of sweat, coffee, and nerves of would-be drivers.

    Amateurs.

    “Name?” the DMV worker asks.

    “Savannah—”

    “—Kaitlyn Gregory,” my father cuts in.

    “This says ‘K.S. Gregory,’” says the DMV worker with the I-don’t-have-time-nor-patience-for-your-discrepancy tone, tapping the blue index card. “Are you K.S. Gregory?”

    “Yes,” we say at the same time.

    “Fantastic.” DMV Man clearly does not find this fantastic. (OMG – love!) “Park across from the playground and wait there.”

    I pull the keys from Dad’s hand. He tightens a finger around the Oneonta lanyard. Foiled, as usual.

  • Brenda Drake says:

    I love this! The voice is great! I have nothing to say but – Yay! I’d so read this. LOVE!

  • D.G. says:

    Thank you ALL so much!! Becca, I like that note in the second paragraph!

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