Friday, September 15, 2006

Sampler

From the first draft...

Avalon hung up the phone. At once, she felt faint with newness, ready to burst, like the first few times she had seen Kyle, met his friends, met his family. She regarded the apartment. Palatial sprawl it was not, but really, it was the best the place had ever looked. Avalon gathered the trash in a bunched plastic bag and took it to the open dumpster outside. She poured herself a glass of water in the kitchen and tasted metal. Avalon wasn’t sure how she felt about Kyle coming now. They truly had not touched each other in three months. And if New York was any gauge of how gorgeous the women of the real world were, Avalon wondered if Kyle had touched someone else in three months.

The women of New York were so lovely, that Avalon, once told she was the crème de la crème of Blackwell (or as Kyle had jokingly put it, “Top Five”) she couldn’t help put feel entirely off-put at any given second. They were just so…together. After all, this was not the land of cute girls at keggers, flip-flopped with mussy hair in their eyes, bleary as they studied in the library stacks. This was the land of modeling, drastic plastic women. Avalon saw, for the first time, the difference.

They danced, not stepped, into bars with streaming hair shimmering from street lamps and headlights. They were always pointy-toed, designer denim clad, slim-waisted. Their legs never swished corduroy, sinewy thighs magnetically drawn away from each other, held static by the power of the gap between them. Their cleavage was sublime.

In the cold snap of early winter weather the week prior, Avalon saw the girls grouped together like prized spring colts, cashmere scarf flags flying in the blustery nights. When Avalon chattered in a lightweight jacket, traversing through the park, she saw them, jogging in leggings and blinking long lashes, never once shivering or bucking at the prospect of a gray day. On the streets of Madison they pranced along in tobacco-colored boots with ease, tucked into their slim pants, tasteful jewelry tinkling slightly, like a chorus of dainty silver bells...

9 comments:

Broady said...

Beautiful prose. Also, it makes me want to stay the hell away from New York.

D.T. said...

Yeah, I'm with Broady...it almost makes it sound like New York is the city that'll eat you alive if you aint rockin' the look. Still, it does posess an alluring charm that makes me wanna visit the grand apple!

Another twentysomething said...

I like it, K! My only constructive criticism is to use her name less frequently. It may be a conscious choice, but my impression is that it makes the story sound more soap-opera like, the way the characters alwas refer to each other by full furst names, when, in real life, we don't usually do that. Like, if you were verbally telling someone this story, you'd just use "she", right?
That's not to detract from how good this sounds so far. Pat on the back!

K said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

Another twenty-something--

It's so funny how you don't realize things until you read them again with someone else's perspective.

It's my first time with the third person--so I will remember to curb that with my rewrites--
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I disagree. Because you would have just said "I" if you were telling the story about yourself, would anyone have said you are overusing the word "I"? Besides, this is not in dialogue, and so the saying of the person's name over and over again doesn't relate here--as this is a narrative. I see you alternating between "she" and "Avalon" here just as you should. In something like "The Corrections" they use the 3rd person just like this. Don't change it.

QuarkMan said...

Nope, definitely sub in pronouns as much as possible; it reads way better - try read it out loud and you'll see. In paragraph one, I'd replace all but the first instances of both names with pronouns. Ditto in four.

Gets even harder to trim them in dialogue.

Gotta visit this city one day...

p.t. said...

I agree with anothertwentysomething and quarkman!

Cheetarah1980 said...

You paint a vivid picture of New York. I agree that you can substitute "she" for "Avalon" in order to make it read better. Can't wait until the action starts. You may want to intersperse the setting with the action. Long exposition can often make a reader weary. Your word choices are excellent!

K said...

The people have spoken and I'm a-changin' it. Yeah it's a hard move from exposition to action--cause with a blog it's all exposition for me!

Thankfully, I've got all you editors to keep me in line :)