Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WIPpet, WIPpet Good

Yeah, I totally stole that term. Lisa and Laura always have the hippest terms. "Hip" is probably outdated. You see, I still wear clothes from like the 90s and all that. I think I have some T's from high school. No, really. I'm not what you would call fashionable in any way. Maybe my hair...

Anyway, so they posted a WIPpet last week. It's basically a snippet of writing on a Wednesday. See how that makes a WIPpet? Work In Progress + snippet = WIPpet. Yeah, I like new words and stuff like that. Word equations are also high on my list of Simple Things That Make Me Happy.

So anyhow, this is from my WIP (obviously or it wouldn't be a WIPpet *rolls eyes*) Dying To Live. My MC is in social dance class with this guy who's been assigned to be her trig tutor, but she doesn't want him...yeah, just read it.

“Can I dance with her today?” another guy asked. I turned around to see pretty-boy, red-polo Landon Wilson. He grinned, revealing an orthodontically-induced set of white teeth.

“Sure, man,” Brian said, turning to Sarah. They moved out into the middle of the room where Mrs. Bowman was yelling instructions.

I stood staring up at Landon’s too-happy face. At least he was taller than me.

“I won’t bite,” he said, reaching for my hand.

I stepped toward the dance floor just before he touched me. He followed and we positioned ourselves the way Mrs. Bowman demonstrated. His hand felt hot on my back, but the skin where we were touching felt cold.

“Look,” I said. “I’m gonna need some help after all. Can you come over this weekend?” I looked at Mrs. Bowman so I wouldn’t have to see the victory in his eyes.

Landon moved like he’d been taking private dance lessons his entire life. I stepped on his foot and cringed.

“Sure, no problem. When? I can come over after school today…if you want.”

I didn’t want, but I didn’t have a choice. “Okay. Maybe like, four o’clock?” That would give me time to do my other homework and get the house cleaned up a little bit. As an added bonus, Michael usually took a short nap around four.

“I can, um, give you a ride home after school. If that would help.”

Now he was the one looking anywhere but at me. The music started and Landon twirled me through the steps easily. I let him toss me and push me where I was supposed to go, wondering how to answer.

“Wonderful, Mr. Wilson,” Mrs. Bowman praised. “Ah, Bristol, glad you’re here today.” She smiled and moved to the next couple, who were all tangled up in each other’s arms.

I stepped away from Landon. “No, I don’t need a ride.” He was way out of my league; he had a car and could make his own schedule. Not to mention the fancy-pants jeans and professional hair cut. I hacked at my own every few months to keep the split ends at bay.

He did the annoying throat clearing. “Okay. I can come at four. I can’t tomorrow, because the soccer team is having a senior send-off, but I can come on Saturday.”

I knew it. Soccer. “Are you a senior?” It sounded like an accusation.

“Yes.” He answered like it was a defense.

“What about Sunday?” I asked. Dad always went to church on Sunday. Maybe I could keep my failing grades in trig a secret—as well as my new, senior-soccer tutor.

“Sunday works for me. What time?”

“Eleven-ish. Is that okay?”

Landon grinned. “Anything is okay. See you at four.” He moved through the crowd to a group of senior boys I recognized from the soccer team. He wasn’t the tallest, or the best-looking, the loudest or the quietest. He probably was the smartest, but I never would have known. They’d signed up for the “social” part, just like Brian, because a few girls sat with them, all smiles and short skirts.

Did I WIPpet good? Or do I need to address "teh suck"?


Stacy Nyikos said...

I like it. It's got great movement and dialogue. I'd just watch the gerunds at the beginning.

Lisa and Laura said...

Ha! We stole the term from Purple Clover, so she actually deserves all the credit. We're not nearly that creative!

As for your WIPpet, I officially declare you the queen of awesome dialogue. Nice work.

Jamie D. said...

I agree - great dialogue. I can really sense the hesitation...the almost forced answers of someone who really doesn't want to do what she needs to do.

Lots of insecurity as well - without even trying. Great "showing"!

Ina said...

Nice work, Elana! I think you're well on your way to building some interesting characters here. I have one question (maybe I'm just a dummie), but this sentence was a tad confusing to me:

"His hand felt hot on my back, but the skin where we were touching felt cold."

Where is this cold skin? Hands? Obviously you didn't post this for a full-on critique, but I just wanted to point out that I think that particular sentence could be clearer :)

ElanaJ said...

Thanks guys!

WindyA said...

Can I just say I found the "orthodontically-induced" teeth hilarious. My kids both have a fascination with braces.

Anyway, I love the "man, how sucky is it that I have to do this" vibe I get from her. We've all been there.

And lunch would be awesome sometime. I'll email you.

M. Dunham said...

I like it! I learned a lot about the characters from your scene. Reading your stuff makes me want to try writing YA... but I think I'd fail at it.

Scott said...

Now WIP is WIPpet? You couldn't have told me this yesterday before I set my WIP entry to post at 6 AM this morning?? I know you and I are usually in sync, but obviously not this time.

I love the concept and would have had some great (well, at least in my mind) stuff to post. Next week.

Oh, and if there are any other special blog days I'm supposed to know about . . . I just hate not being in the loop. : )

'fancy-pants jeans'? They wouldn't be Jordache or Sassoon, now would they? Oh wait, you're not writing a retro piece. I think I just dated myself. : ) Great snippet.


ElanaJ said...

Dude, Scott, I only did it because I don't have any progress for the work in PROGRESS Wednesday. It's cuz I'm lame, not cuz you are. haha!

I just make up my own days. There's no loop, and if there is, I'm way out of it.

And yeah, for me, the "fancy-pants jeans" would've been Girbaud. Do they even make those anymore? I'm so fashion challenged.

Totally post the WIPpet next week. I'm hoping I have some PROGRESS to report. *fingers crossed*

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Well, this has some romance (or potential for romance) so you know that I like it. I especially liked your last paragraph with the description of how he fit in with his group of friends. Good stuff.

TereLiz said...

"He wasn’t the tallest, or the best-looking, the loudest or the quietest. He probably was the smartest, but I never would have known."

Great dialogue, as has been said, but I think your subtle clues about the social castes of these young people are seamlessly woven in. I especially liked the bit above.

Way to go, Elana! Your blog is a great resource and I hope you don't mind if I link to it from mine.

Happy WIP Wednesday. WIP-it good!

Anonymous said...

Great job Elana - as always!

Danyelle said...

Love it, Elana!

Jaime Theler said...

Love the term WIPpet and will, of course, be stealing it. Well, when my own WIP is a bit past the stinky rough draft phase.

I enjoyed your WIPpet! Whew, safe from "teh suck" for another day. :)

Shelli said...

you are so danute (dang cute) - yay i did one!

Carolyn Kaufman said...

There's actually a word for words like the ones you guys are talking about -- neologisms. Sometimes people with schizophrenia spontaneously produce them. (*ducks, grinning madly*)

Justus M. Bowman said...

Nice. Go, Bowman!

Crystal said...

Hi Elana!

I've been reading your blog a while & love it! Sorry I'm late chiming in here on your w-i-p! But just wanted to say that I think the dialogue flows really well and is true to the characters. My only concern (and this could just be me) was with the last paragraph that has the words: tallest, loudest, quietest, smartest. I thought that maybe one or two less '-est' words would make it flow just a tad better. Maybe something like:

He wasn’t the tallest, or the best-looking. Nor was he too loud or too quiet.

You probably could do better here than me. What do you think? And like I said, this could just be me; just my humble opinion, of course. :)

Casey said...

Oooo. I love this Elana! Great character building and dialog!

ElanaJ said...

Carolyn, you just made my day!

"There's actually a word for words like the ones you guys are talking about -- neologisms. Sometimes people with schizophrenia spontaneously produce them. (*ducks, grinning madly*)"

But what are you trying to say? ;) ;)

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