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 Chapter Two (Breakdown)

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Clockwork Horrorshow
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Female Age : 24
Posts : 256
Location : Magnolia, Arkansas

PostSubject: Chapter Two (Breakdown)   Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:29 am

tl;dr: The kind stranger (Ben) takes Julia to breakfast, then buys her a room and accidentally spends the night. No sex.

-----I know we keep harping on this STRANGER DANGER thing with Ben, but I don't feel like it's all that menacing, even in reality. Julia was clearly overwhelmed, and she's a teenager. She's obviously dumb to begin with. From the bus woman to the McRib man, to the one who just bumped into her, she hasn't been shown any kindness. I believe a girl at this age would accept the help of an attractive, put-together stranger. Holding his hand, eh, maybe not. But it is not a romantic gesture, I realize that. It just seems a bit too much. I believe she would let him help her. I believe she would let him carry her suit case. I'm on the fence about if she would take his hand in the process of that.

He seemed out of place, and so did she.----Keep, Keep, Keep.

Stranger crashed into her. Stuff spewed. Did she pick it up? Julia nodded to herself. Yes, I picked it up. Then this stranger. This very cute stranger. “Thank you.” She immediately added, gesturing to her suitcase. ------------Keep!!!!11!!!!!

-----The breakfast scene is utterly endearing! It's so cute. But I'm trying to keep in mind to make constructive suggestions. I think this scene is needed, but I will also say that it feels rushed. Maybe the two of them should talk a little before he invites her to breakfast. It might be more acceptable if he insists upon walking her, and they chat and walk a little before Julia reveals she has no real destination. Ben knew this all along, but because they are strangers, he offers first to take her to breakfast to, then they figure out what to do with her. I think you should address the fact that she's a runaway, make it known to Ben. I see it going much smoother if they briefly discuss that she has no place to go, and then Ben offers to put her up. She doesn't have to tell him why she's runaway, and he doesn't have to pry for that information. He's just a nice stranger. He buys her a meal, and puts her up for the night. And he's also a teen. They have that in common. They're both entitled to making rash decisions. I definitely feel you should flesh from the street to the motel room. In short, reveal to Ben that Julia has no place to go, then he takes her to breakfast, offers to put her up, Jules can't refuse because she's a broke teen.

“You’re very welcome.” Ben offered another sweet, crooked smile as he stood. “I better head back. It’s getting late.” His eyes flickered to the reflection in the TV across the room of the red LED alarm clock. It was almost ten. “Here.” Ben took the complimentary Super 8 pen and pad off the table, scribbling a number on the top piece of paper. “My number.” He ripped the page from the rest, handing it to Julia. “If you need anything, feel free to give me a call.”  ----Keep. Beautiful and fluid, from the reflection in the TV, to Ben's dialogue. Keep.

-----I didn't realize the problem with my huge paragraph above until you actually said it there at the end. Strangers DEF don't need to know you have no one looking for you. It's too much to go back and delete, and there may be something helpful in all that jazz. Anyhow, maybe you could reorder the scene a little. It could be possible that she has a rouse. Or however you say it. For instance, maybe she says she's in NY for a trip or something, and makes up that she has a reservation at a motel, Ben offers to take her there as she isn't sure of the way (because she really doesn't have a reservation or know where the place is) but says it's a Super 8-because where is there not one of those? He takes her to the motel where it comes to light she has no reservation, but Ben pays for her because she doesn't have the money. He doesn't ask questions, but offers to take her to breakfast, and she accepts because damn, this guy just put her up for the night. They have a nice breakfast, bond, then he walks her back. Then the sirens scare her, then he offers to stay, blah blah. This is just a suggestion. Maybe it's dumb, but something of this nature. I don't think her allowing him to help her on the street is not believable, but there needs to be a good reason Julia lets him buy her a room and take her to breakfast. I don't think it's to much for her to allow him to walk her to a motel either. But if he puts her up, she might feel obligated to take him up on breakfast, which allows them a good reason to bond. And we have to keep in mind that Ben knows the truth *cough, cough* no spoilers.

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Scottie Elisabeth
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Two (Breakdown)   Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:15 pm

Ben

Introduce Ben & bonding. Note on the chapter song quote: “Nothing’s ever out of reach when you’re seventeen.” — Sign that she should be 17 rather than 18? Why do I struggle so much with this?!?!

Change to—bonding at the High Line. Maybe first she goes to a show? But if she is doing this last minute, she might not can get tickets. Consider that. Look into what on BW would be the most poetic, since I’m trying to avoid song poetry here. Also—hostels?

Maybe he invites her to a party? Explore maybe—dead and hallucinogens? Who is at this party? What is it for? Who?

NYC = independence, not Ben from the get go. Maybe she needs time to be lonely. Consider ditching suitcase for backpack, as it would be easier for her to look less like a tourist with a backpack rather than a suitcase.

Enter: Ben
Salvageable. Julia & Ben.

Julia meets Ben. Awkward! Now we need to get them to a place of bonding, but the way I currently have it written sounds a bit ominous. Julia keeps thinking objections, which sends an ominous feel to the reader, where really maybe she goes with him out of a sense of adventure rather than naive “trust?” Also, alternative scenario, Julia gets off the coach late and gets caught up wandering around the city. She finds herself at the High Line, where Ben finds her? Makes it less “omg you just got here helloooooo” and more “Oh, chance meeting of a sweet/nonthreatening boy in this adventurous location?” It lends itself to easy conversation with an interesting, pressure-less location.

Plus it’s not like she has anything better to do. Soooo…

Breakfast at IHOP
Unnecessary. Julia & Ben.

What’s with all these restaurants?

No phone! No song lyrics! No band name dropping! $$$$$$$$$$$$$ Except maybe.

If I’m not going to note the Georgia thing here, because this scene is pretty useless in general, I need to make sure to note it somewhere else.

Also he hints in this chapter that he’s older than he is. I think that’s worth saving for elsewhere.

So my notes here are a bit blah. At one point I decide that Julia is 18, graduated. At another point, I have “Ben—19? Still in HS? Consider” — Uhm, true that, me! I’m dumb. I guess he’s 18 then? And Julia is 17? God, these people are children…

Gets to Hotel
Unnecessary. Julia & Ben.

None of this is really necessary, is it? Also, it can be without Ben, as she gets her own room. Maybe she already had a room, so he doesn’t have to be there? But <3 Sad this is their love segue. Idk. The whole scene reads a bit stranger dangery, and that’s no good.

Also, he is NOT using a gross masseuse pick up line on her, whether it’s true or not. KILL.

Keep:

“…as he adjusted his coat—a light, denim jacket with a variety of pockets. The sleeves were upturned at the cuffs, and the length of the jacket hit him right at the waist.”

Hotel - Next Morning
Unnecessary. Julia & Ben.

Keep:

“Julia reached forward to place her hand on Ben’s, smiling when it immediately silenced him, his lips still parted.”
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