My favorite scene- today

Asking a writer to pick a favorite scene is a lot like asking a mother to pick a favorite child.  There's room in my heart for all of them.  Okay, some more than others.  But honestly, the scenes I love the most as a writer have little to do with the types of things I appreciate as a reader.  I tend to love the scenes that sneak up on me when I'm writing.  The spontaneous moments when characters do or say something that reveal hidden depths or help me understand them and their story better.  Sometimes, I even learn something I didn't know about myself.

One of my favorite scenes in SILVER is a scene that revealed something so shocking (to me) that it required me to rewrite much of the second half of the book.  It appears almost 3/4 of the way through the book, and it went a long way to shaping the mythology of the entire world.  Unfortunately, I can't tell you what it is without spoiling a major plot point in the book.  Reading the scene now, you would never know that the character involved had kept such an important secret from me for so long.  But
I know. Without that scene, without that moment, SILVER would have been a very different book.

 Since I can't share a scene from SILVER with you, I thought I would share a scene from one of my shiny new projects, one of several partial manuscripts I hope to turn into a novel someday.  This scene was a revelation to me.  It was one of my first attempts a writing a boy POV, and it is the first scene in which Max appears. The book is affectionately referred to as THE STALKER BOOK, and I think it's going to be a lot darker than my other stories.  But I kind of love Max.

***Max***

Nothing’s different. I don’t know why I thought it would be. The world might look different to me since the surgery, but I look the same to everyone else. Same freakshow, different year.  Even the emo dudes who spend hours on their hair and make-up trying to look just like me keep their distance.

I lower the brim of my Rivercats hat, keeping to the inside of the halls, away from the sun. The freshmen are easy to spot because they all stare at me. I’m tempted to take off my shades and give them their money’s worth, but I don’t bother.

I grab my lunch from my locker and weigh my options. I could track down Egg to figure out when we’ll start our new sessions, but I’ve got his psych class after lunch so there’s no point. I could disappear into the library, but that’s never really been my style.

I head toward the cafeteria instead.

I spot Paige almost immediately. It’s impossible to miss her with her golden hair and that neon pink tee shirt. She’s at the senior table now, in the center of the room, surrounded by girls who are almost, but not quite as pretty as her. Taylor isn’t there yet, so there’s an empty seat next to Paige.

I don’t stop to think about what I’m doing as I make my way over to her table and slide into the empty seat without saying a word. I open the brown paper bag in front of me. At first there’s no sound but the crinkling of the bag, until one of the girls squeals. Paige doesn’t look at me. She never does.

“This seat’s already taken.” Magda Summers stands up and puts her hands on narrow hips.

“So it is.” I pull out my PB&J and start unwrapping the plastic that entombs it.

“Is he serious?” Kinsey Simpson flips her hair back. “He can’t be serious.”

The thing is, there’s nothing they can do. Like spiders, they’re more afraid of me than I am of them. And it’s not like I can get any lower on the high school food chain. Sure, Taylor and his minions could come over and threaten to kick my ass. They might even do it.

Let them. Let Paige watch. She would know the truth. It’s her fault I’m here.

 I grin at Kinsey and her mouth falls open.

“Don’t do this.” Paige barely says the words, but I hear them like she’s shouted them. When was the last time she spoke to me?

“What? Eat peanut butter? Are you allergic now?”

Paige turns her back on me.

Magda leans closer. “You need to leave ghostboy.”

“What’s this?” Taylor Masterson puts a hand on my shoulder. “I didn’t think vampires needed to eat.” He closes his fingers hard enough that I’ll have bruises later. Not that it takes much. My skin is always a patchwork of white and purple.

I take another bite of my sandwich. Bring it on. I’m not as small as I used to be.

“You’re in my seat.” Taylor pushes me in the middle of my back. I nearly choke, but I don’t get up.

Paige is staring at her fingernails. She can’t look at me. What would she see if she did? Would she see the boy she promised to marry in the fourth grade? Would she even remember?

Brent Jamison grabs my other shoulder. “Shouldn’t you be in your coffin until the sun goes down?”

A couple of the girls laugh, more comfortable now that the Calvary has arrived. I wrench my shoulder free from Brent’s grasp. “I was here first.”

“No one wants you here.” Taylor steps closer so I couldn’t get up now if I wanted to. “Don’t make this any more embarrassing than it needs to be.”

We have an audience now. There’s a crowd of people gathered. Bloodthirsty bastards.
I take another bite of my sandwich.

That’s all it takes. Brett and Taylor each grab an arm and pull me backwards. I come out kicking, knocking over the chair. The chair hits Brent in the leg and he lets go of my arm. I plant my feet on the ground and face Taylor.

He has to look up to make eye contact. I can’t resist smiling, my mouth still full of bread and peanut butter. I never thought the day would come when I would be bigger than Taylor Masterson. It’s fun to watch Taylor’s confident expression falter. I’m tempted to take off my sunglasses for a better view.

“What’s the matter?” I push his chest, forcing him back. “Aren’t you going to make me leave?”

 Brent tries to grab me again, but I elbow him hard in the side before he can.

He and Taylor both come at me at the same time.

My fist connects with Taylor’s jaw, sending him flying backward with a satisfying crack. Brent lands a punch on my chest that hurts like hell, but you don’t go through life as the school freak without learning to take a few hits.

I spin and make contact with Brent’s nose, sending blood spattering across the senior table. Several girls scream.

The crowd around us is shouting, but all I hear is Paige’s voice as I rush at Taylor, landing another punch on his ear. “Stop! Max! You’re hurting him!”

Not ghostboy.

Max.

I lift Taylor up by his collar, but I don’t hit him again. The moment of hesitation is all Brent needs. I don’t even see the blow that sends me flying toward the concrete. I barely feel it. I just watch as the floor races up to meet my skull and everything goes blissfully black.

6 comments

Wow, you are a master with action. It's a good thing there's not more posted or I would spend the morning reading it all instead of working! Love the YA Muses. Always something to learn.

Thanks Angela and PB. I think what I love most about this scene is how the tension comes mainly from Max's desire to get Paige's attention and not from the fight. Believe it or not, when I started writing this scene, I expected Max to just watch Paige from a distance. I had no idea he would be so confrontational. Talk about a character revealing himself in a scene!

Ditto everything PB said! I hope I get to read more of Max someday.

Great scene! Hope to hear more about this project someday.

I love this one! I can't figure out if he's a real vampire or not. Seems like he wouldn't hurt if he was, but what's with the eyes. Very mysterious. And what did Paige do? I want you to finish that one and I haven't even read Silver! Great writing!! Looking forward to Silver.

Heather

Post a Comment

Grid_spot theme adapted by Lia Keyes. Powered by Blogger.

Search

discover what the Muses get up to when they're not Musing

an ever-growing resource for writers

Popular Musings

Your Responses

Fellow Musers

Translate