Monday, November 5, 2012

You've Got the Look

WOW!  I've been tagged by Nicki Elson and The Armchair Squid in U Got the Look.  Thank you both!
In order to participate, I'm supposed to take my current manuscript, search for the word "look" and post the surrounding paragraphs.  Then, I'm supposed to tag 5 more "writer-ly" bloggers.  Oh the pressure!

Just a little set-up before I get started...
Josie is the main character in this story.  She's a recent college graduate who can't find a job, so she has returned to her hometown to work at the local diner.  The town is expanding rapidly with tourism and the elderly couple (Bob and Mary), who own an old lodge in town are expanding and renovating to meet demand.  Sam is the cook at the diner and Rick is the love interest later in the story.
I haven't worked on this piece in months because I got lost in what direction to take it.  This is a very rough draft, but as always open for critique.

Here it goes:

“So, how’s the graduate?”, Sam asked, looking at her as if she should look different.  Josie had always been dressed pretty simple.  She was comfortable in jeans and t-shirts, with her brown hair pulled back in a ponytail.

“No different from before.  I’d hate to think I just went through 4 years for nothing.  If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have gone to college”, Josie said, looking down.

“Oh, you’ll find something before you know it.  Just don’t forget about us little people when you do.  We’d miss you around here”, Sam said as he started on Mary and Bob’s order.

“I’m glad you had some biscuits left for Bob.  Ya know how he gets”, Josie said remembering his demanding attitude in the past.

As Josie poured their coffee, she heard the bell on the door ring again.  She carried their coffee to the table and saw Tom and Rick talking to Bob and Mary.

“Hey there, Josie!”, Tom said, looking at her with a devilish grin.  “I’d like you to meet my nephew, Rick.  He’s here working on renovations for the lodge.”

“Hi”, Josie glanced quickly at Rick, then set the coffee on the table.  Rick politely greeted Josie, “Nice to meet you”, then looked back at Tom, anxious to leave.

And now to pass this lovely tag on, I nominate:

Laura at Stranger Than Writing

Laura at My Baffling Brain

Loralie Hall at Apathy's Hero

Nancy at N.R. Williams

Crystal at The Heart of a Writer


  1. Hi Heather
    Thank you so much for tagging me. I'll post mine this Friday.

    You asked for critique and since we are using the word 'look' I will offer my trick. Look is among those overused words. When I first started to train myself to stop using 'look' I would do a word search through the whole document, highlight the word in a different color and then change to a more descriptive word like, gaze, and many others. Now I see it almost as I write it. However, you can overdo gaze or any word as well, so the occasional 'look' is perfectly fine.

  2. Thanks for the tag! I'll post mine on Thursday :)
    I like your extract, looks interesting.

  3. Hooray! Thanks for playing. A diner is an excellent setting.

    I agree with NRW regarding overusing words (not that you are, Heather - just an interesting discussion). It's so easy to fall prey to the reallys, prettys and verys. My first self-editing move is to see if there's anything I can remove completely. Often, it's the overused words that are first to go.

  4. I like that he's anxious to leave, makes me curious!

  5. And all three 'looks' were different - good job!

  6. Josie sounds down-to-earth. I already like her. :)

  7. It's a set up!!! No wonder he's so anxious to leave.. maybe he's shy? Maybe he's scared of getting involved in a relationship right now.. Would love to see where this is going!! Oh and I found the word look too!! Great job!! I'll get started on this tag right away, as I am working on rough draft for my first, well more like my fourth or fifth wip, I'm hoping this is the one!! So I'll get started on that tonight and hopefully have it posted by tomorrow or asap! Thank you for tagging me and lovely job Heather! As always! :)

  8. Good job on the writing! From the back story, it sounds like a very nice story line!

  9. Looks a funny one isn't it? It is certainly easy to overuse but I think that it is often the perfect word to pick. A bit like said, we can tie ourselves in knots trying to find alternatives sometimes simple is best. I think the use of look/looked in your excerpt is fine. I love reading about diners it brings back some happy memories of road trips around your lovely country. I hope you get to continue with this story, Heather the concept sounds good.

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  11. Loving your story snippet - so much tension and introspection :-)

    Thanks for the tag (I actually read this the day you posted it, and then got all kinds of distracted by that darn real life thing), I'll be posting sometime this week.

    By the way - still love the story snippet, and looking forward to reading lots more.