Friday, March 1, 2013

Hot Chips and Sand 106-110 Draft Comparison

Hot Chips and Sand
Copyright © 2013 Mary Hughes
All rights reserved

Chapter Seven
She was back on edge.  HeCliff was due any minute now, and though she had received constant reassurances from everyone here, she remembered too clearly the disagreement at her offices, the race on the road, his anger after dinner, their fight in the car and Cliff’shis ability to cut through her every defense.
And in the back of her mind she wondered if he was still dealing with Fahrrad. Oh, she was such a goody‑goody. What if heCliff had decided while he was gone that she was too  naive and immature to lead this team? What if he brought back someone smarter and more able and, and what if she was beautiful, too?

            Trying to win love with performance, Vickie?’. What an idiot she was. She shook her head to clear it. John, always attentive, caught the grimace on her face. He just took her hand and smiled. She smiled back, but then looked out her office window for the fifteenth time that hour.
She didn’t seewas looking for either the Mercedes or the coupe, but there was a pick‑upcouldn’t miss the big shiny pickup truck pulling into the lot. She felt the by now familiar prickle on her neck, and knew it. It was him.  AnotherCliff.
In another car?
Cliff swung out of the truck with a graceful leap. He wore, not his usual business suit, and definitely not the black silk of Middle Yemen, but a pair of blue jeans and a crisp cotton shirt rolled up at the sleeves.
Vickie had forgotten how big he was. He crossed the parking lot with his ground‑eating stride, then disappeared for a moment from her view, into the building.
He blew into her office like a spring storm. John had released her hand moments before and now stood, wellmoved to the side, by  of the office, next to the bookshelf. She glanced at him, hoping for support, and he. He only smiled gently. She would have to brave this one herself.
Cliff did not give her time to gather her thoughts, however.
He blew into her office like a spring storm. “John tells me you’ve been working too hard.” [MH1] 
She spared a glance at the traitorous John, who merely grinned.
So we’ll debrief…in the park.”  HeCliff grabbed her hand and towed her out the door, through the reception area. Tess and JuneBelva were there. She made frantic signals for them to rescue her, but they only waved to her as Cliff pulled her across the French tile, out the front door.
And then Vickie had to runconcentrate on running to keep Cliff from pulling her arm out of its socket. As usual, he didn’t seem to notice the effect he was having on her. And, true to form, the arm he held was tingling with excitement, and her gut was tightening with anticipation. She forgot to be worried that she might have to report; she wondered instead if he would kiss her.
He loaded her into the passenger compartment of the truck and packed his long frame into the other side. Deftly, he swung the thin gear shiftstick and shifted into reverse, and. He backed swiftly out of the parking lot.  Throwing so fast the truck into first, he started onto the main road, heading in the opposite direction from the way Vickie usually squealed. Vicky squealed too.
With a grin, Cliff threw the truck into first and started onto the main road, heading in the opposite direction from the way Vickie took home.
“Where are we going?” Vickie shouted over the engine.
Cliff just shook his head and pushed the shifter up into second. It was a muscular vehicle, roaring to full life when he finally lifted it into third.
The rural road was made for this, Vickie thought, the . The wind blowingblew her hair into her face and bringingbrought her the sweet scent of newly mown hay.
            VickieShe smiled to herself, and feltas the last of her tension completely fadefaded away.  Then they
They turned onto a wooded road, and the scent of hay givinggave way to that of spicy pine. Cliff slowed the truck, and. Vickie was able to catchcaught sight of a red‑winged black birdblackbird and a robin flying through the branches.  She was disappointed she couldn’t hear their songs over the noise of the engine, and she hoped he would stop the truck soon.  VickieShe wished she had known there was a park so close, wondering. She wondered if anyone else at the office knew about it.

She openedthrew open the truck door onto a and breathed in grassy green meadow bathed inand sunlight, smelling of wildflowers and water and pine needles.

            Vickie . Smiling, she leaped happily down, unaware that . “Where are we?”
Cliff, who was gathering a blanket and basket from the bed of the truck, wasand watching her intensely.  When she did “A park.” He lost the intense look for him, he was and nonchalantly spreadingspread the blanket on the ground.

“My park. For a picnic.” He went back to the truck bed, then heaved a huge basket he set onfrom it onto the grass.
“Oh. Nice.” She sat down on the blanket and smiled openly at him.  She reflected on, kicked off her total contentment with wonder. shoes and wiggled her toes. Amazing. For the first time, she felt at her ease with this big man. Maybe it had to do with her successful performance ofgetting the job he had given her, or maybedone. Maybe it had to do withwas the beautiful setting, which was so much like a family picnic from her childhood.
But more likely,just maybe it was the man himself, and the feelings for him she could easily recognize. He did seem freer here, unfettered by the trappings of a business environment.

He rummaged in the basket, muttering something. . Then, triumphantly, he pulled out a corkscrew.
She laughed. “Don’t you need to have a bottle of wine to go with that corkscrew?”
He grimaced, and began rummaging again. Soon enough the wine surfaced, and he beamed expectantly at her. She laughed again. “Oh, Cliff, this is wonderful. Pour us some of that wine, and let me toast your return.”
He smiled, and complied. . As soon as both glasses were full, she clanked hers gently against his. “To teamwork.” She at temptedattempted to sip her wine, but found Cliff tilting the bottom of the glass up so that she took two big gulps. She gasped, then watched, amazed, as Cliff drained his wine in one draft. She laughed, and it came out suspiciously like a giggle. She caught herself, and putcrossed her fists on her hipsarms in mock severity. “What’re you trying to do, get me drunk?”
“Absolutely.”  Vickie was flabbergasted by his honesty.  . John said that was the only way to get you to relax.”  He urged her to finish her wine, then
“Don’t worry. I’ve already done it.” Cliff filled her glass again.  “Oh?
“I’m surrounded by troublemakers. John told you that, did he? What else did he tell you?”[MH5] 
“Not much I didn’t already know. He said you were a terrific boss, and the people at the company love working with you. I see our project is ahead of schedule and right on budget. Good job.”
‘Good job. Good job, Vickie.  You’ve got the performance; do you get the affection?’ . And she was halfway to being in love with him. “And that’s all?”  Nothing about love‑ sick women, John? Nothing about side‑tracking my affections before they interfere with business? Was this romantic setting all just good business?
“Sure. He mentioned you have better taste than I do in restaurants.”

            “Oh, that’s because I happened to notice your“That was easy.” She snorted, then cut it off in horror. She never snorted. “Your John is a chocolate‑fudge‑aholic.  TheyYour fancy-shmancy restaurants never have decent chocolate fudge at the fancy restaurants you go to.”  It came out before she even had time to think.  Damn the wine..”
He looked at her sideways. “Well, so this is what it takes to get you loose. Have some more wine.” And he tipped her glass again. She tried to stop him this time, but ended up with wine up her nose.

 [MH1]As authors we tend to go back and forth in our narrative and know things about the end that get revealed throughout the manuscript. We're time travelers in a way. But our readers aren't. They experience our story in real time.

So the story should read cause-to-effect, cause-to-effect. ABC is the easiest to grasp. You can change things up -- BAC or CAB or whatever--but it jars the reader and you should have a good reason!

I switched this to be in time-sequential. See how it cleaned up the paragraphs?
 [MH2]This changes pure description to action. SETTING IS IMPORTANT but in modern storytelling (in my opinion) it should not pull us out of the action
 [MH3]Added snark :)
 [MH4]Cut a lot of unnecessary words. At the end, added some sensory description for added impact. And because it's almost lunch time as I write this :)
 [MH5]Added repartee.

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