Princess Revision: Chapter One – Scene Three

Susan applied her last bit of makeup just as the doorbell rang from downstairs.

“Oh, God…it’s Bobby. How do I look?” She turned around in a circle, “You know, I look good, and he’s going to go nuts…no, he’ll do more than go nuts…”

“Hey, let’s open the door, okay?” I sprayed my hair one last time, then descended the stairs.

“Are you sure my hair looks best down?” she whispered as I reached for the door.

There was Bobby, a wide grin on his face. His neck looked raw from shaving, and his hair looked wet…probably from too much gel.

“Hi there.” Susan smiled seductively. “You look nice.”

“I should! I spent all day trying. You know, it took me an hour to get this damn tux on. Let me tell you, I will NEVER try and get a job where you have to look nice all the time. It’s hard enough to make me look good just once a year. Where’s Jake, Nora?” Bobby stepped inside, and took a brief glance about the room.

“Oh, he’ll be late.” I tried to smile. “You know Jake.”

“Listen, let’s go out after this stuffy ol’ party. I got some vodka that needs to be sipped. I’d say drunk, but somehow that word make insinuation too simple.” Bobby plopped himself on our couch, and played with his jacket lapel.

“Hey — that sounds like fun. Doesn’t that sound like fun?” Susan looked at me for approval.

“We’ll see. It depends on…” Suddenly the phone rang.

“Hello?” Susan picked it up. “Sure, sure…That’s okay, Jake…Yeah, she’ll understand. Do you want to talk to her? Okay…yeah, see you later.”

She hung up and looked at me. “He said something happened to Neil. He said he’ll have to meet us later.”

“What did he say happened?” I asked.

“He didn’t, really. He just said something happened, and he can’t make it right away.”

I remembered the eerie shadow out in the moonlight, and gave an involuntary shiver. No one noticed.

“Okay, then I guess I’ll be escorting two fine looking young ladies to the annual Peterstown Dance.” He did some sort of hop that made us laugh, then took both of our arms, and we were off.

THINGS THAT NEED CHANGING:

  1. The dialogue. It’s stilted and doesn’t showcase a lot of personality.

  2. Susan can’t say hello into a phone she has not yet picked up.

  3. Why doesn’t Susan hand the phone over to Nora right off the bat? Why does she take a message? Seems odd.

  4. We need a cliffhanger. The three of them going to the dance is SO ho-hum.

I believe I was trying to set up a possible creepiness relating the figure in the moonlight that dragged something beside it and Jake’s inability to show up at Susan’s to attend the dance with them. However, it falls flat because the thought is forgotten and everyone’s happy and laughing. Tension – POOF! – gone. We need to build on this idea of Nora feeling uneasy. And Nora needs to give us more emotion throughout the scene.

My revision:

Susan leaned over my dressing table and stared into the mirror. “My lips need color. I don’t think I can pull the nude lipstick look off.”

“You look fine.”

“No.” She untwisted a tube of red lipstick. “I still think red works better with my skin tone.”

I wished my brain could focus on something as simplistic as what color lipstick I should wear. Instead, it was going a mile a minute. What had I seen outside? And what was going to happen at the dance tonight? How would Jake act? And did I really see what looked like someone dragging a body bag across the lawn?

The doorbell chimed.

“Bobby and Jake are here!” Susan squealed. She finished rubbing red into her lips, then grabbed my hand and led me downstairs. “Do I look okay? Are you sure my hair is better down?”

“Too late to change your mind now. The guys are right outside your door.”

She eyed me up and down. “You’re so lucky. You could look like a bag lady and Jake would still love you.”

I scoffed.

“Not that you do!” She put a hand to her ruby lips. “I’m just saying–”

Raps on the door interrupted her, thank God. I didn’t know what she’d been insinuating, but she had it all wrong.

She whipped open the door. Bobby stood on the step, grinning like a mad man. His neck was raw from a fresh shave and his hair was shellacked with too much gel. “Hey, you two beautiful things.”

Susan blushed. “Oh, you probably say that to all the girls.”

“He does,” I said. I glanced around behind Bobby. “Where’s Jake?”

“I went to pick him up, but his dad said he wasn’t back yet. Guess he’d gone to help Neil with something.” He brushed Susan’s cheek with his hand. “I like the hair, dollface.”

“Neil?” I didn’t like Neil. Nor did I trust him. Why Jake befriended him, I had no idea.

“Yeah, but no problem. I told his dad to have Jake meet us there. Meantime, I get to walk around with two cute chicks on my arms. Yeah, man, I’m a stud.” He brushed at his suit and pretended to make a muscle. Susan laughed, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Jake.

Nothing good could come from Jake being with Neil.

BETTER, but could still use some work. However, I don’t know where this story is heading, so I made a couple of leaps. One being that she doesn’t like Neil, and another that something bad might happen. Not sure if that’s where I was going with this. But it definitely ups the tension.

I also chose to have Bobby deliver the message that Jake wasn’t coming. That made the most sense. Why would the guys drive separately anyhow if they were picking up both the girls at Nora’s house? And why would Susan answer the phone at Nora’s house, anyways? That made no sense, either. The I solved two problems with one fix. Ingenious. Maybe. We’ll see.

#editinganovel #howtorevise #princess #storyrevision

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