8.30.2005

Snarklings versus the Snarkometer, 30


Tabitha's bare bottom rested on the metal edge of a stackable chair, carefully avoiding contact with the raw edges of its torn vinyl seat, its rents revealing decaying yellow guts. She sat with her elbows on her knees, fists pressed into her cheekbones.


You are not a scientist describing something with pinpoint accuracy for the Journal of the American Medical Association. Your readers will fill in blanks for you. Unless "decaying yellow guts" has something to do with the story, leave it out. Unless her fists are pressed into her cheekbones cause she's nursing a bruise leave it out. You're setting the stage here, you just need to put her in a chair, bare assed.


Diana tossed her a white terry bar towel from three chairs down the vanity counter running the length of the narrow dressing room. She addressed her by her stage name, as they all did at work. "Star, do me a favor and sit on this. Your butt will thank me."


You don't need to explain the Star part cause we see it later.



The towel hit Tabitha's motionless forearm and slid past a tanned knee then a shin, coming to rest on a row of red toenails cradled in a white platform sandal. These accessories grew their inhabitant a total of six inches, although that was a minor point of their appeal.


blah blah blah


"He's not gonna be able to see me tonight. Should I call him? He'll want to see me, I know. But it'll look bad, right?" Tabitha's voice was slightly above a whisper, and because the girl wasn't facing her, Diana hoped the questions were rhetorical rather than more solicitations for advice. For half an hour, Tabitha had been sitting in her g-string and faded hoodie sputtering details of a situation that Diana wanted nothing to do with, but was forced to respond to as the only other inhabitant of the room. Tabitha persisted.

"Nikki, what should I do? What would you do?"


I'd stop reading, but that's just me. You're just caked in words here, time for some astringent.


Diana sponged on foundation as she considered an answer. "I imagine any man whose wife has just been found dead in the driveway won't be taking a call from 'Star,' his stripper-mistress. But he'd probably take a call from Tabitha, his garage apartment tenant."


Finally! Here's your lead! Everything up to this point can come out and if it's needed for the narrative it can be put back in in small details. Here's where it gets good.


"So I could call him and just keep it innocent."


Ya, well, my guess is it's not so innocent...and thus I might have to read on for juicy details.

I'd send this back but it's fixable.

1 comment:

Mary Louisa said...

Thank you, thank you for your help. Yes, I've been Snarked, but it hurts so good. This blog is better than any writing class. (At least as far as I know, obviously never having taken one.)