Do I sound even remotely average for a teen writer?

They were in the elevator. Mickey could see the way she hid her long red curls in her brown hoodie, the arms pushed up to her elbow so you could just see the sleeve of tattoos she had. He couldn’t exactly make out the design but he could tell it was swirly, with little twinkling dots like stars.

Soft music spewed out from hidden speakers, and Mickey found himself humming to the tune. The girl looked up to him with an amused smile on her face, her eyes looking as if set on something far away from him, but he didn’t care. It was the face he had waited years to put a name to. The big blue irises were dazzling to him.

With Mickey’s usual joking attitude, he felt the urge to say something witty, but restrained it. He knew the girl’s personality, even if he didn’t know her name. Mickey could just tell she was the silent type, the sort of women who didn’t feel the need to fill every silence with pointless small talk. She was his opposite, so he was determined to be more like her, because to him, the term ‘opposites attract’ was a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Only people who had common grounds and could relate would eventually be together, everyone knew that.

So he smiled back at her, hoping she would be equally dazzled. If she was, she didn’t show it. The girl immediately dropped her gaze, her face almost angry as if Mickey’s actions didn’t please her.

In a disgruntled manner, Mickey lifted his gaze and peered at the elevator door’s awaiting for his exit. Or should it be their exit, Mickey thought, since they did live on the same floor. He pushed the notion aside, trying but not succeeding to focus on other things. Eventually, his curiosity got the better of him, and he asked.

“What’s wrong? Cat’s got your tongue?” To Mickey’s delight, he was replied with a smile, as if she were bemused in a laughable way. “That’s what I thought,” Mickey said mostly to himself as he stepped off the elevator when the doors opened.

They walked down the hall together. Mickey kept getting the pull to make her talk. He wanted to hear her voice, because it was a voice he’d spent time trying to imagine. He’d guessed it would be soft or like a ringing of bells.

“Do you speak?” he joked, running a hand through his black curls to prevent it from dangling into his eyes.

The girl laughed, and he caught his breath. “I can,” she said. It wasn’t a manly voice, not at all, but it still wasn’t bells. It had its own independence to it, and that pleased Mickey more than all the possibilities he had conjured up.

“Well,” Mickey said, straining to keep his voice even, “why don’t you?”

The girl smiled, but didn’t look up to see him. Her hands trailed along the wall as if waiting for something, her eyes set for the end of the long corridor. She had a light blush on her cheeks. “No one to talk to,” she said lowly.

“I’m always here, you know, right across the hall. Why don’t you call me sometime? I think I have a pen somewhere…” Mickey began to pat his pockets, seeming to have lost it somewhere at the gym, where he worked.

“No, no,” the nameless girl said quickly. “Just tell me. I can remember.”

Mickey told her his cell phone number and listened as the girl repeated it to herself.

Her fingers still trailed along the walls. When they encountered a small sign outside her door, she took the sign in her hands without looking at it. Her small hands ghosted across the door until finally reaching for the handle.

“It was nice to meet you,” she said uncertainly. “Mickey, isn’t it?”

Mickey nodded urgently, happy to see that she remembered him. “Yes,” he said, when she didn’t respond.

The girl smiled. “You sounded familiar. I’m Christina.”

“Can I call you Chris?” Mickey asked.

Her smile widened. “Most people do.”

“I’ll see you later than,” he hobbled off to his door across the hall, opening the lock with a feverish attitude.

“Later,” she muttered, unlocking her door with minor troubles and leaving without a look back.

It only occurred to him later that there was a reason for Chris’s peculiar attitude and the way her ocean-like blue eyes never seemed to focus. Like Mickey was in the dark, Chris’s eyes were sightless, but it didn’t change anything.

If you were wondering, yes, I have posted this before. I need extra critique, and I have cleaned it up a little. I wanted to know if I sound somewhat close to average, because I want to advance. Constructive criticism is encouraged as long as you're not a jerk about it. Thank you so much, ten points to best answer.

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  • 9 years ago
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    They were in the elevator. Mickey saw the way she hid her long red curls in her hoodie (not too many adjectives at once!), the sleeves pushed up to her elbows showing a glimpse of blue ink (sentence was too laborious). He couldn’t quite make out the design but little star-like dots and the tails of swirls were a tantalising clue.

    Soft music filtered (soft music doesn't spew) from hidden speakers, and Mickey found himself humming to the tune. The girl looked up with a smile of amusement (of course it was on her face) her eyes distant, but he didn’t care. He had waited years to put a name to her face (try not to end the sentence with a proposition). Her big blue irises dazzled him.

    He felt the urge to say something witty, but restrained himself (we know he's a joker if he feels the urge to say something funny, so you don't have to tell us). He knew this girl, even if he didn’t know her name. He knew she was the silent type ('just' in prose is generally unnecessary), the sort of woman who didn’t feel the need to fill every silence with small talk.. She was his polar opposite; he was determined to be more like her. 'Opposites attract’ - what bullshit (that's really what you mean, isn't it?). Only people with common ground, people who could relate, could be together. Everyone knew that. (neatening up your independent clauses)

    He smiled back, hoping she would be dazzled too. If she was, she didn’t show it. The girl dropped her gaze, her face almost angry ('Almost' can become a weasel word if you're not careful - it allows you to evade the responsibility of being precise. Say what you mean. You can say 'as if she was angry but trying to hide it. Had Mickey's actions annoyed her?' but weasel words like 'almost', 'half', 'seemed to' and 'something like' can drain the life from your prose. Be careful.)

    Disgruntled, Mickey glanced at the elevator doors awaiting his exit ('awaiting for' is redundant. Also, did he really peer at the doors? 'Peer' is not necessarily the same as 'look'). Or was it *their* (italics) exit, Mickey thought, since they lived on the same floor? (sharper than 'did live'.) He pushed the notion aside, trying to focus on other things. Eventually though (this tells us he was unsuccessful), his curiosity got the better of him.

    “What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue?” (The expression is 'has the cat got your tongue?'. People drop the 'has the'.)

    To Mickey’s delight, he was answered (word choice) with a smile, as if she were bemused in a laughable way (what? Do you mean she was amused? Say what you mean.)

    The elevator doors parted. “That’s what I thought,” Mickey said as he stepped out.

    They walked down the hall together. Mickey wanted to make her talk (word choice - getting the pull sounds like you wanted to say urge but went for a word you hadn't used yet). He wanted to hear her voice - he'd tried for so long to imagine it. Was it soft or loud? High-pitched or husky? Perhaps it was musical - like the tinkle of bells.

    “Do you speak?” he joked (questionable - save 'said' synonyms for when you need them), pushing his black curls back from his eyes.

    The girl laughed - Mickey caught his breath ('The girl laughed' + ambiguous pronoun 'he' = the girl is a he.) “I can,” she said. It wasn’t manly, but it wasn’t bells either ('still wasn't bells' makes it sound like he's disappointed). It was forceful, independent - and that pleased Mickey more than any of his guesses.

    “Well,” Mickey said, straining to keep his voice even, “why don’t you?”

    The girl smiled, but didn’t look up. Her hands trailed along the wall and her eyes were fixed (avoiding repetition) on the end of the corridor (corridors are generally long - redundancy. The light blush doesn't need to be mentioned - her eyes tell enough here). “No one to talk to,” she muttered. ('Lowly' usually means 'inferior' - again, a distracting word choice. A well-placed dialogue tag can give impact.)

    “I’m always here, you know - right across the hall. Why don’t you call me sometime? I think I have a pen somewhere…” Mickey patted his pockets, seeming to have lost it (potential weasel word - has he lost it, or do you mean he just couldn't find it? And show us, rather than telling us, that he works at the gym later - we don't need to overdose on details this early.)

    “No, no,” the girl said quickly. “Just tell me. I can remember.”

    Mickey told her his cell phone number and the girl repeated it to herself.

    Her fingers still trailed along the walls. When they came to ('encountered' sounds like it's going to impede them) a small sign outside (above? On? Beside?) her door, she took it down without looking at it. Her small hands ghosted across the door and reached for the handle. ('until finally' is for suspense.)

    “It was... nice to meet you,” she said. “Mickey, isn’t it?”

    The girl smiled. “You sounded familiar. I’m Christina.”

    Source(s): “Can I call you Chris?” Mickey asked. (Why? Give us a clue. Is he just lazy, in which case he might say, 'Is Chris okay?') Her smile widened. “Most people do.” “I’ll see you later then.” He hobbled off (a cripple who works at a gym?) to his door across the hall, fumbling with the lock. “Later,” she replied, opening her door and leaving without a backward glance. It occurred to him later that there must be a reason for Chris’s peculiar attitude and the way her ocean-blue eyes (too many eye adj = sounding like a Mills & Boon) never seemed to focus. Like Mickey was in the dark, Chris’s eyes were sightless, but it didn’t change anything. (I thought he was blind. Careful with your figurative language.) Phew! Intense. It's interesting enough to make me want to keep reading. Good luck!
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