First of all, this post is two days late. Sorry ’bout that.
Here is an example, as promised, of my first round edits of PlayFling. Keep in mind, I previously thought of PlayFling as in a ready state. Ready to submit, ready to publish. It just goes to show how giving a project time to breathe and a different perspective can give an author new sight.
The look on her face was worth every cent he’d spent on those books. Truth be told, Elliot Jovovich couldn’t say the last time he’d bought a girl flowers, let alone did something so bold as to buy a stranger-clearly uninterested in so much as polite conversation-a pile of books that practically screamed “single”. Guess he just didn’t like how readily she’d dismissed him. When he’d placed the romantic bounty in her hands, that jaw dropped, eye popping look reward his bruised pride more than words could say.
She’d been thrown totally off guard. Clearly. She’d been difficult too. Even now, grading another stack of mediocre at best papers, he couldn’t help himself. He chuckled. Then he started all over again, refocusing. They were due back to Schnope yesterday. Slogging through this round was proving tougher than usual. Man, but she’d really been shocked.
Her lips parted, cheeks reddened, she’d looked too sexy by half. He’d rendered her speechless. Not that she was the kind of woman who needed to say much to land-or lose-a man. Watching her from across the Book Exchange cafe for the third time this month, he knew. One arch look and people moved out of her path. She carried herself with aloofness. He’d watched, critically at first, then in turns he became impressed. People left her alone. Seemed what she wanted.
Until her friend would arrive and she would all at once relax and light up. Her icy exterior fell away to reveal vulnerable warmth within a blink. Today, as she sat waiting, Elliot found himself uncomfortable seeing her fidget and wait. In no time, he surmised she’d been stood up by her friend. Soon he started feeling the minutes tick by, began glancing around expectantly. He had told himself he’d just sit down, make conversation, put her a little at ease. Had he been wrong or what? At ease? Anything but.
“Shouldn’t you be in class?” Elliott asked, giving up for a moment on the stack of papers in front of him. Even if Michelle wasn’t lounging in the office’s narrow couch like she owned it, he was distracted.
His mind was stuck on two hours ago. The look on her face was worth every cent he’d spent on those books.
“I won’t be missed,” Michelle said and examined her nails. “I couldn’t handle it tonight. Why do they even bother scheduling Friday classes anyways?”
“Professor Shope thinks it weeds out the less than serious students,” Elliot replied absently. Honestly, he couldn’t think of a time he’d bought a woman flowers let alone did something so gutsy as buy a stranger-one clearly uninterested -a pile of books that practically screamed “single”.
Michelle scoffed. “Uncle Bernie has no idea.”
She’d been stunned. Served her right. He didn’t like being dismissed so readily. “No idea?”
“ My friend Beth is in his class and she does absolutely nothing but doodle. If it wasn’t required and the only open session left…” Michelle rolled her eyes. “Are you even listening?”
Not really. “Sorry, I’m distracted. I just have a lot of work to do, Michelle.” She’d left that table like he was contagious. And to think he’d imagined sitting down would rescue her from her clear discomfort. “Shope expected these back last week.”
Michelle eye rolled again and resumed her nail examination. He wished she’d leave.
When he’d put those books in her hands, her jaw had dropped, her eyes had blinked up a storm. His bruised pride had mended more than words could say. Elliott faced the stack of mediocre history papers again and he couldn’t help himself. He chuckled.
”What?” Michelle said and got up. “Is it a funny one?”
Elliott scooted his chair in. “No. Just thought of something offhand. Sorry.” He returned to reading the paper in his hand. Michelle loomed closer. The desk pinched against his chest.
Somehow, this was all her fault. He couldn’t even get his head straight enough to ward of Michelle. Like an idiot, he still kept thinking about her. Her reaction. Her lips had parted, her cheeks had flushed, she’d looked sexy. Speechless and sexy.
“So, what’s so funny then”?
Elliott smelled Michelle’s perfume. He kept his eyes forward. “I really need to get this work done.”
Michelle sighed and returned to the sofa.
Elliott sighed too. And tried again to read.
After reading Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder, I decided to have dialogue on every last page. I imagine it’s a scene in a movie and try to find a way to hear like a viewing rather than only a reading audience. I think the second version works better. It’s no longer a man in room type scene that drags by. Yes, we want to know his reaction to Brooke, but we also need action.
So, reader, what do you think? I will greatly appreciate your own insights, should you have any, on the differences, successes and failures of each version.