19 April 2014

Q is for Questioning (with an excerpt!)

Ok, I have to admit this post is kind of a cop out, because hey, guess what! I'm on another double today! *headdesk* But it also occurs to me that I've never ever shared an excerpt from my WIP, Uneven Lines, so it seemed like a good day to do so. You know, since it's already written...

If you want to get to know someone, the easiest way to do so is to ask them questions. You can find out where they came from, what sort of things they like to do, etc. Some people are shy and aren't always going to willingly give up that information, so you have to dig deep to get it out of them. This sort of questioning is a central part in the first few chapters of my book. When Jordan first meets Tom, he wants to get to know him, but it isn't easy. Tom is shy, and since it is actually his job to tutor Jordan in geometry, he likes to keep the focus on that. Of course, this isn't good enough for Jordan, so he starts asking questions. Lots of them. All the time. He asks so many questions that Tom can't possibly ignore all of them. So each answer is like a tiny little victory.

But anyway, to the scene! I like this one because it shows a few sides to Jordan--he's crafty but he's also still a typical teenage boy who zones out and fantasizes. As far as the questioning goes, he's able to find out something about Tom that he's been dying to ask, but is able to do so without being too obvious. My favorite part, though, is the very last line, and it's probably my favorite chapter ending in the whole book.

So here is the scene from the second chapter. There is a very brief sexual reference at the end, but like I said, he's a typical teenage boy *wink wink*

            Figuring out the volume of a sphere is in no way necessary to life. I’m sorry, it just isn’t. The only spheres I was interested in were Tom’s eyes. I was trying to name their exact shade. If I dug out my biggest box of crayons, I wouldn’t have found a match—not sky blue, not cornflower. I mean, they were blue, like, gorgeous blue, but sort of clear, almost. Like Caribbean waters. I just hoped he would actually think I was paying attention since I was staring at him.
            “Jordan? Are you listening at all?”
            “Huh?” I shook my head. I had been zoning out a bit more than I thought. I glanced down at the notebook in front of me. “Where were we?”
            “Where were you?”
            I guessed my daydreaming had been more than obvious. I shrugged. “Swimming.”
            He just blinked those blue eyes a few times. I should have said drowning. “Oh, ok, swimming. In February?”
            “I was thinking of someplace tropical.” I yawned and stretched my arms above my head.
            Tom sighed. “Well, we’ve got five minutes left. You can do one more problem.”
            Always with the freaking math, this one. I groaned, throwing my pencil onto the table. “Seriously? Can’t we just call it a day?” Not that I wanted him to leave or anything. But if I came up with a good question I could get him talking for those five minutes. He frowned, so I sighed. “Come on, this is pointless. You could be baking something delicious right now instead of staring at circles.”
            He just stared at me, completely serious. “They’re spheres. They’re three-dimensional.”
            “So’s a cake.”
            I rolled my eyes. “How does this crap not bore you to death? It’s ok, you can go. Don’t you have a girlfriend to go see or something?”
            He chuckled and shook his head. “No.”
            I picked up my pencil and tapped it against the table. I had a thought, and I tried to fight it off, but I just couldn’t help myself. I mean, I had no proof. Not even the tiniest shred. God, I just wanted it to be true. “Oh, I get it. Boyfriend?”
            His entire body jumped as he looked back at me. “What? No.” He looked down at the table, quickly scribbling, but his flushed cheeks said it all.
            I dropped my pencil on the floor and fumbled around like an idiot to get it back. I sat back up, trying to keep calm. Didn’t want to start drooling or anything. “So, um…what was that formula?”
            I was so excited that night that I couldn’t get to sleep. You know, until I rubbed one out and slipped into a coma. But before that, I had a million thoughts going through my mind. This little sliver of information was my greatest victory yet. I just didn’t know what to do with it. Just because he was gay didn’t mean I was going to get anything out of him. Not that I wanted anything. Or did I? I kept telling myself that it didn’t matter because there was no possible way he could ever want me.
            Then again, I always liked a challenge. 


  1. Thanks for sending me your story for beta reading, Sarah. (shaydee7@hotmail.co.uk)

    *waits patiently*

    1. Ha, with my work schedule, I probably won't get to my computer until tomorrow night. It would be nice to have an actual writer read it since most of my readers don't even acknowledge that they've read it, let alone critique. Should I send it chapter by chapter or just send all of what I have so far?

  2. By the way have you tried the Goodreads Beta Readers thread?

  3. Nice excerpt, I love your writing style!

  4. Hi Sarah--new follower here from IWSG :-) Love the excerpt--you have a very unique and refreshing writing style. I look forward to reading more of yours!