Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Tell Me- Does This Suck?

So today I'm doing something I'm normally too chicken to do - posting an excerpt from my WiP.

This sort of goes along with the Let the Suck Flow theme from Monday. I often have moments where I wonder if I'm the only one who'd ever enjoy what I've written. Sometimes I crack myself up and I think, Geez, was that really funny or am I just insane?

It goes the other way, too. Sometimes I think something sucks, but it's really not so bad. So if this sucks, then this is me letting the suck flow. All I'm looking for is your honest opinion. Would you be interested in this book based on this one excerpt? Is it worth it to write the rest?

Let's set up the scene: my female mc Kelsey had a small mishap with a kitchen knife that landed her in the hospital, only to find out she may have a serious health problem. She's talking to her best friend David, who she's recently been having some more-than-friendly feelings for.  Here goes:

“Then what were you thinking?” David asked

I felt a lump form in my throat again, and I wished I’d had more sleep so I could switch off this annoying, weepy Kelsey and locate my backbone. “That I was scared. That I didn’t want my life controlled by some illness, and I didn’t want to be The Sick Girl. That I didn’t want to burden anyone. That—” I was dangerously close to crying now, so I tried to divert the onslaught by taking a breath and making a joke. “That I didn’t want to die a virgin.”

David laughed, a nervous laugh/cough combination that told me I’d succeeded in lightening the moment, and also making him slightly uncomfortable. “Wow. That’s, uh, that’s deep, Kelse.”

I shoveled more soup into my mouth for the sheer purpose of having something to do. Something told me he wanted to stay far away from this topic, so naturally, I had to pursue it.

“Wouldn’t you think about it? If you thought you might be—” My breath caught in my throat, and I had to fight to push the rest of my sentence out. “—Seriously ill? If you thought you might… never get to?”

He ran his hand back and forth over his hair and cleared his throat. “I guess.”

That’s when everything clicked into place like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle. His fidgeting, his sudden change in demeanor, the guilty look on his face. David didn’t have to wonder what it would be like to die a virgin.

He wasn’t one.

I blinked. “Oh,” I said softly. It must have been the only word in my vocabulary at the moment, because I said it again. David’s ears turned bright red and he looked at the floor, the ceiling, anywhere but at me. I concentrated on breaking up a piece of chicken with my spoon, wondering if it had been Amy Heffernan who’d done the honors, or Isabel Rose, or some other girl I didn’t even know about. I wasn’t going to ask him. It was none of my business, and knowing wouldn’t have made me feel any less betrayed. I knew it was a stupid thing to feel, but it spread through my body like the flu nonetheless.

So what's the verdict?


  1. woman, this is AWESOME!!! I love the voice!!! I love that she actually says it out loud, I didn't want to die a virgin...

    and then, the realization that her guy friend, who she has a crush on, has DONE IT! and the awkwardness and hurt afterwards?

    I would absolutely keep reading. there is not suck flowing in this piece.

  2. Bahahah "So naturally I had to pursue it."

    (Yeah you crack me up too. But it could be that we're BOTH crazy, so....)

    Okay, seriously? I just read this and felt like I got punched in the gut. Poor Kelsey! :(

    Translation - THIS RULES. You are incredible.


  3. Gah, I LOVE this! I know a little about these characters, but I don't know about Kelsey's illness, and now I want to!

  4. My honest opinion?!?! I think it's very well done. Seriously. The voice is there, the tension, the humor...

    Are you asking because you are struggling with requests for it (are you querying this?). This is not your opening, but I'd be curious about it. If you need an extra set of eyes on your first page or query, send it over, lady!!!

  5. Gina, seriously, as your friend I'm telling you that you need to FINISH THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW SO WE CAN ALL READ IT.

  6. Ooh... great scene. Very awkward moment, and you captured it well.

  7. Honestly, I love this! Such a true, awkward moment, and even from this snippet, I know I'm going to like both of these characters, because they feel like real teenagers to me. Awesome, beautiful job!

  8. Thanks so much you guys! I really appreciate your kind words. This scene was kind of dear to my heart and I was just wondering if it was any good.

    Christina- I haven't finished the novel yet, nor even attempted to write the query letter. But when I do, I will so take you up that!

  9. Stop reading this comment and go write because I am super, super excited to read the rest of this!

    I love the tension in this scene--both between Kelse and David and within Kelse.

    I wonder at her not wanting to know who it was--this is very telling about her personality. I also wonder how her personality will change as she deals with whatever illness she has and how this will alter her relationship with David.

    Awesomeness, Gina!

  10. I'm not sure how I stumbled over here, but I loved it!! I was only disappointed it ended. Great job!

  11. I'm usually a hard audience to please, especially with seemingly YA contemp, but I liked this. try to avoid the 'I felt a lump...' and leave it as something like 'A lump rose in my throat.' we know she feels it since it's in her POV ;)

    I think what I like the most is the situation and how she handles it. SO WELL. and so real, in my opinion. and all the tension. the unspoken 'more than friendly' feelings I get from the guy since he Does Not Want to talk about losing his virginity. likelikelike!