Prized Possessions.

 

 

My most prized possessions are my pictures on my computer and a few things in the nightstand by my bed. They could fit in half a shoebox, maybe less. Probably less.

 

My dad gave me a little music box when I was about ten years old. It was an old time radio like the 1920’s that played “The Entertainer,” from the movie The Sting. He was in the hospital gift shop and saw it and it reminded him of me because I liked the wittiness of the movie. It was his way of saying, it was a smart movie and you are a smart kid. That was 40+ years ago, and it’s in the nightstand. I didn’t get a lot of gifts from my dad. Not like that. It’s hard to explain. He gave all of us a lot, but my birthday fell during his vacation, so whatever I got as a present usually had to be shared. Mom got me toys for any gift receiving occasion like Christmas or birthday like all the other kids; dad got me this just because.

 

When I was 13 he searched all over Mexico City for a little toy gun I saw that another kid had. We were on vacation and we were supposed to pick a souvenir from the trip. I didn’t know what good a souvenir was so I wanted a toy. I saw some kid with this great looking little metal gun and I thought that would be a cool. Dad looked everywhere to find one. Everywhere. He found them, though. We ended up with two, a red one and a blue one. They fired little caps but they were really loud. They’re in the nightstand.

 

I have the watch my wife gave me as a wedding present and a little framed card that has a boat on it, that talks about “the little ship of you and me” – weathering the tough times, the ups and downs, that sort of thing. And another card from her that plays “You Are My Sunshine.” There is no way she will ever know how much those cards mean to me. Except that they are in that drawer.

 

There are a few pictures of my kid on top of the nightstand. They could be in the nightstand. They belong. That’s what most of the pictures on the computer are, my kid.

 

That’s it. After my family, that’s what I’d grab in a fire.

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By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn't he?
By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn’t he?

If you benefit from this blog, share it with your friends! (See those buttons?)

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi” – yeah, we know. We’re trying to convince him to change that title – check out his other works here http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1425128559&sr=1-1 and check back often for interesting stuff.

Beautiful People

What makes you you?

You can do a knee replacement, a heart transplant, a kidney transplant. With stem cells we can grow new organs. If you could download your brain and regenerate it when necessary after a stem cell regrowth surgery, and electrogenetically shut off the aging process, what would happen?

If there was no death, there would be no fear of death. Immortality.

And no real consequences for anything.

Of course, you could still get smashed in a car wreck. If no download technicians are available, your brain functions would stop and you’d cease to exist.

And the harvesters would claim your useful organs.

But what would you do if you were immortal, had no likelihood of aging past a prime age of about 25, and had good prospects?

An eternity of second chances? Infinite learning?

Or would the power to kill and erase cognitive memories be the most awesome threat on the planet?

There would still be diseases like cancer. Women would still occasionally die giving birth. But with a preventative download they would just upload into a regenerated second brain and be off to the races as soon as they recovered from the surgery. Anything cancer can destroy, we can replace; it’s all in the timing.

Would teeth just wear down until everyone had dentures, or would we find bodies tedious completely? Even sex has been described in terms a chemical drug. Heroin is said to be like your best orgasm multiplied times a thousand. We can reproduce that with 99% efficiency through spectroanalysis and give it to you any time you want. Any time.

Hunger? We already have the ability to feed the planet; it’s simply corrupt governments that starve their people. Overeating and obesity are offset by liposuction and replacement parts. And anyone who says that this is all for the rich and famous forgets that they said that about cars, too, and computers. 95% of people have access to cars or computers, not 1%. Somehow, the masses find a way.

The threat in any utopia is imbalance, the ability to enslave its subjects; but with immortality, slavery is just a temporary inconvenience. Haves and have nots are simply a matter of scheduling.

Therefore, the only true threat – and the only real power – is the ability to cease brainwave functions without possibility of download.

To kill.

By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn't he?
By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn’t he?

If you benefit from this blog, share it with your friends! Something tells me this may be the premise of a new novel.

Enjoy my writing brilliance in all its glory on my Author Page HERE http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

and find out about the release of my new book “25 Great eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew” by emailing me at savvystories@outlook.com and I’ll let you know when you can get a free advance copy! Shh! Don’t tell.

Cool Cars I Have Owned.

What was the coolest car you ever owned? I have had a lot of cool cars. How did that happen? I blame my dad. He started it by giving me a classic 1968 convertible Mustang when I was in high school. That was my first car.

1968 Mustang convertible when I was 16

Pontiac Firebird when I was 20

Alfa Romeo convertible when I was 26

Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible when I was 31

Toyota MR6 convertible when I was 34

Got married, had a kid, started driving a Ford Escape.

Eventually the Escape mysteriously caught fire and I ended up with a Lincoln Navigator and my wife has a Chrysler 300 convertible.

Life is compromise.

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By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn't he?
By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn’t he?

If you benefit from this blog, share it with your friends!

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi” – yeah, we know. We’re trying to convince him to change that title – check out his other works here http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1425128559&sr=1-1 and check back often for interesting stuff.

Why YOU Should Join A Critique Group, You Arrogant SOB

I'm the best!
I’m the best!

I was an arrogant writer when Savvy Stories came out. Still am. You have to have an ego to put out a book and expect strangers to spend money on it – and enjoy it and not return it and not laugh at you and not…

You get the idea.

I laughed when I was first told to try a critique group. A bunch of scared talentless hacks all sitting on a corner cowering while they endlessly rewrite their pseudo novels and tell each other how awesome they are? No thanks.

But the guy who recommended it to me, a real pompous ass type (or so I thought) said that the people there could help me by letting me help them.

Wait, what? Help me by… Yeah. Okay. That’s right.

More on critiquing your own work HERE

https://savvystories.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/critiquing-your-own-stories-part-one/

See, when you point out mistakes that others are making, it almost forces you to be a tougher judge on yourself. Okay, I was fine with that. I had a few published books at the time and I thought I knew what I was doing.

And I did. I’m a pretty good storyteller, with very little training. As in, none, really. Thing is, I could be better. I knew that, but I didn’t know how to get there. But I was certain the a bunch of goofballs in a critique group wouldn’t be the answer.

But I checked it out, since I’d just read that the lady who wrote “50 Shades Of Gray” had used a critique group to help her work the story into a novel, and obviously it did well. Ironic that it’s seen as a pretty poorly written novel, but I didn’t know that then. All I knew was: bestselling author admits a critique group helped her book become successful. I wanted that sort of help. So I was open to the idea when the pompous ass guy suggested it.

I asked him for a recommendation of a group, and he gave me one. Since it was free, I decided to join and see what would happen. I put one of my short stories up – one that I knew was good – and sat back and waited.

People liked it. I knew they would.

They said it was funny. It was.

They caught a few typos. Well, that happens.

Then they mentioned a few things that separate good writing from great writing. Stuff that, while small, makes a difference over the course of a novel.

Um… okay.

Yes, there were sniveling writer wannabes there, but there were serious writers, too. It was pretty easy to tell which was which.

I submitted more stories, and found myself enjoying the process. The book I was working on went into the group and became a much better story. Who knew? I didn’t see that coming.

One day I started a new book and submitted a chapter to the group. A critique partner I particularly respect and admire, who had one indie book out and another awaiting publication with a traditional publisher, made a comment when she read the first chapter: Wow, you’ve improved a lot in your writing.

Well… who doesn’t want to hear that? I’d already put out a bestseller, remember.

As people read your submissions, they bring to it their perspective, and by gaining that input from several sources (or a dozen) you open your eyes to what the masses – the book buying public – want. Not just what you want to say, but also how they want to receive it. That’s huge.

A book that you write will appeal to you, but after it goes through a critique group, the story you love will still be 99% your words and your message, but it will have some built in feedback as to what a broader audience than you thinks, and when it comes time to sell that book, it will sell better.

That’s a good reason to do it, right there.

You’ll meet lots of people you won’t respect or who have arbitrary rules, or who can’t string together a compelling story, but you’ll also meet writers you love reading, who are trying like hell to get published, or who are published – and who will help you improve your writing.

And usually, it’s free. How awesome is that?

Oh, and you’ll get to read some cool books before they become cool books, but while they’re still cool books.

And you’ll create a group of writer/author friends. You may help shape a story that becomes a book, and have a lasting personal friendship with its author.

And you’ll help some new, talented people get their book out.

Robert, you sound a little stressed.

 

Relax. You have talent, and it’s a good short story! It had an interesting twist, and people will love reading it, whether that’s in a blog or as a freebie giveaway to get them over to your novel. I just put out my 14th book a few days ago and I’ve helped others put out theirs. When you’re ready, I’ll help you, too.

 

Now, about this novel…

Who wouldn’t want that kind of support and encouragement?

First, you should subscribe to my blog, not because it’s awesome but because I often take critiques and redo them there as “lessons,” and there’s one or two about getting your big voluminous tome out of your head and off the notepad and into a computer so it can become the novel it wants to be.

 

Read one of them HERE: https://savvystories.wordpress.com/2015/03/15/tips-for-new-authors-get-it-out-of-your-head-and-into-the-computer/

Then, baby steps. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Don’t worry that you’re “behind schedule,” by using a critique group, because it’ll be a better product when it’s finished, and that’s where a critique group makes the difference: when you write something, and get it finished, you may think it is ready for the world – and maybe it is. But why not let some critique partners have a look and offer their input? Maybe some chapters would be better rearranged. Maybe it just needs some smoothing and some polish. Then, why not send it to a few “beta readers” who can just read it like a regular person would, and can offer their feedback? And what will happen is, that beautiful story will grow from a child into an adult very quickly. From a decent amateur story to something that reads as professional. It will read smoother, better, and more engaging. Little errors that readers would notice – won’t be there, and instead they’ll just enjoy a terrific story.

 

But ya gotta get it written, and even if it’s written, if you put it into a critique group with typos and punctuation errors, crits will spend all their energy on telling you where you need a comma. Now, if you need that help, then put it up right away. If you can fix that yourself, do it and let the crits focus on the story. But even if you want crits to catch spelling and grammar errors, just say that in the notes, and let them do it, then make the changes and put it up again as version 2.

 

A year from now, or in six months, or whatever, you’ll have a beautiful book to release out onto the world.

 

The year is going to pass whether you start or not; wouldn’t you rather have your novel published by then? And if short stories are dying to escape from your pen, let them. There’s room enough in the world for both. Put them on a blog at WordPress (which is free) and the world will have lots of samples of your writing, and you can build a fan base. Then when you novel is ready, take 20 of your best short stories and publish them as a book of short stories. Fans will love to read that while they’re waiting for the next (his working title) book. And you’ll have two published books instead of just one – which is more than most writers ever do.

Get to it!

That’s my advice to you, too. Get to it! A critique group, that is. And to better writing.

What are some of the ways you’ve discovered that have helped your writing to improve?

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By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn't he?
By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn’t he?

If you benefit from this blog, share it with your friends!

Enjoy my writing brilliance in all its glory on my Author Page HERE http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

and find out about the release of my new book “25 Great eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew” by emailing me at savvystories@outlook.com and I’ll let you know when you can get a free advance copy! Shh! Don’t tell.

Part 4: You Have To Be Willing To Put Yourself Out There As An Author

On Sunday, we broached the idea of putting yourself out there as an author,

https://savvystories.wordpress.com/?p=741

and on Monday and Tuesday we discussed ways to do it. Today we conclude with some of the hows and whys.

I understand the dilemma. You don’t feel like you have friends you can ask that stuff to. Well, if you have writer friends, you do. If few women in your real life would feel comfortable discussing something with you, don’t go there. Your writer friends have probably asked for help on a scene before; they’re used to it – but tread lightly. Same with you ladies; you can ask guys probably anything, but take care to not seem like you’re coming on to him. Which he’ll think you are no matter what. So get the info, then dump the bucket of cold water on him. It’s how it has to be.

I put it like this. Information is important, and good, accurate information is the difference between good storytelling and crappy storytelling. Google will only take you so far, but don’t be afraid to read a scene from some other book and see how that writer did what you’re trying to do. Don’t plagiarize, but see how it worked. Emulate.

Then, when you’re ready to show your scary little scene to the world, bounce it off a few writer friends first. Approach it the way you’d get a beautiful woman to go to bed with you. You may have to build some rapport over a few dates, and then when the trust is established, you can make your move. (The reverse is not true for women trying to get a guy into bed. Ladies can just say “Wanna fuck?” and he’s all in. For you women, approach it the way you’d like a nice guy to approach you. Hopefully that involves some time investment or my analogy is screwed.)

Establish trust, build rapport, be helpful in return, and you will have a small team of people who will help you with even the most delicate of scenes – and that can be crazy monkey sex, or it can be a gentle first kiss.

See how I did it in this post? I established trust in other posts by writing about helpful author-ey stuff, then early in this one I mentioned boobs and Game Of Thrones. After just a few thousand words we’ve moved on to pussy checks and eye shots – some very intimate things you weren’t expecting to read about, but here we are. And I don’t think anybody’s too embarrassed yet, because we’re treating it in a helpful, educational manner. That’s what you have to do. A little humor doesn’t hurt, either.

Here’s another example:

“How’s this?” he asked. He sat behind her in the motorbike seat, wrapping his arms tight around her waist, his right hand reaching up to cup her left breast and vice versa. She leaned back, her head nestled under his chin.

 

“Great,” she said. “It feels great. Best feel ever on a cycle seat.”

My analysis?

I think I’d say it more directly. It’s probably not important that we know he specifically puts his right hand to her left breast, per se; it’s pretty much the only way he can do it from behind, and if reader can imagine it a different way, that’s good for them. But for clarity without Latin, I’d be more plain.

He wrapped his arms tight around her waist and cupped her breasts in his hands.

We get it. Add something if you want, to finish it off smoothly:

He wrapped his arms tight around her waist and cupped her breasts in his hands, nuzzling her ear.

You get the idea. The scene is flowing. The original way reads less smooth to my eye.

This is how it’s done. You write, you research, you trust, you put it out there.

You put yourself out there.

And if you aren’t certain, ask a few writer friends for help. If you don’t have any, you do now – ask me for help. I’ll help you. Maybe later, you’ll help me.

Then, put yourself out there. It’s the only way this author stuff actually goes from in your head to on the page to being seen by readers and book buyers.

You little pervert, you.

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By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn't he?
By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn’t he?

If you benefit from this blog, share it with your friends!

Enjoy my writing brilliance in all its glory on my Author Page HERE http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

and find out about the release of my new book “25 Great eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew” by emailing me at savvystories@outlook.com and I’ll let you know when you can get a free advance copy! Shh! Don’t tell.

Part 3: You Have To Be Willing To Put Yourself Out There As An Author

On Sunday, we broached the idea of putting yourself out there as an author,

https://savvystories.wordpress.com/?p=741

and on Monday we started discussing ways to do it. Today we continue with that.

.

Now, how do you go about making sure it reads as sentimental and not crude? First, try to write it that way, so any disinterested reader with no knowledge of the story at all could pick up only that section of the story and know exactly what you were trying to express. You may fail, but they will see your intent.

Break it down into the actual steps. Her hand goes here, does this, then does that. Good.

Then you rewrite those steps into a less clinical, more delicate and beautiful. Then fold in the rest of the scene around it and see how it plays.

So far so good, and that may be enough.

Additionally, I have gone to several friends (male and female but mostly female since these types of scenes tend to be more potentially offensive to ladies than to men – besides; I’m a guy. I think I know how guys will react to things.). I test the sections out on them, and they help me refine it until it’s perfect. I asked a few writer friends and critique partners to help me with a kissing scene. We probably redid one kiss four times. It was worth it.

If you have read some of my stories, you know they vary greatly. Some are simple, innocent family humor; another, as I mentioned, is a bawdy tale about a skirt chaser. In all of those, I was able to go to “friends” and ask them if they would mind looking at something.

What friends? Writer friends. Not people I have to see at Thanksgiving dinner. We have to try out ideas with people who are also engrossed in the creative writing process. It’s just safer and it elicits better input. And no ugly glares while we pass the stuffing.

If you looked at the scene with the insecure girl the way my friend wrote it, I think 75% of men and 90% of women would know what he meant. If you then tell your writer friends that you want to improve it the way we have just described, they will help you do it.

Yes they will.

Women that you have never met in person will explain all sorts of things that they probably wouldn’t tell anyone else. They’re writers; they understand. Some ladies have special underwear they only put on during their menstrual cycles. A kiss is sexier if she grabs his hair a little. A visit to a doctor can be degrading – on and on.

They will also ask you for input. Give it to them. Be polite, but be honest and direct. “A guy wouldn’t do that.” Or usually: “A guy wouldn’t say that – that’s something a chick would say, but not a guy.” Then offer a suggestion to replace the phrase. We are all searching for accuracy in our stories. Just saying it’s wrong isn’t super helpful. Suggest a replacement phrase. Even if they don’t use it, they’ll get the idea.

One fellow writer had an argument between her male and female lead characters, and the guy said a lot of stuff I’d never say. Stuff he’d probably get slapped for. It was too much, and I said so. I made some suggestions, highlighting certain sentences and sometimes just a few words that were over the top for the type of lover’s spat they were supposed to be having. When she redid the scene, it was still an intense lover’s spat, and it still had the man being macho and coarse, but he didn’t cross the line and turn off the readers. It was still 99% her words, too. That’s how small a change that input can be.

And how helpful.

If you read that earlier story about the insecure young lady, you know what’s going on – we’re all grownups – and we fellow writers understand you’re coming at it from a viewpoint of a writer. Ask for help, and explain that you want it honest, you want it accurate, you want it appropriate, and you want it describing what young lovers at that age do. I would also go so far as to say I don’t want to offend anybody. I’m asking for their guidance.

You will be shocked at how forthcoming they are – men and women both. I have had a woman I haven’t known for more than a month talk to me about getting ejaculate in the eye because that was part of a funny scene I had to write, and I asked a lot of writer friends for some help. The way I approached it was, they read the scene, which was part of a larger story, and critiqued it all in a critique group I belong to. Then I privately messaged them and I said, “At this point do you mind if I ask you about this part of the scene?” I explained what I was trying to do. Like I said, most of them responded very openly, very candidly. Some did not want to help with that scene; that’s fine – I understand. I thanked them profusely either way, and the ones who helped me were thanked for being so candid and open and honest. It’s now a great scene, and they helped make it that way.

Because of that, I trust their comments much more when critiquing my stories. I feel like we are better friends because we were able to they were able to help me bridge that gap in my story that I needed help with. People want to help. Even if it’s with come in the eye or a pussy check.

They understand that we are just authors trying to get it right with authenticity and they will help.

Now, again – how do we find that help? Maybe you don’t have a critique group (well you should; most are free). Meet writers through Facebook, Twitter, or other social media.

Other writers will help you rewrite just about anything. For the touchier subjects, you want to go with people you have some rapport with. If you are a guy asking for help from women about a topic that women might be sensitive about, GO SLOWLY.

“I have a granddaughter about that age; maybe I’ll discuss it with her? Or her mother, my daughter-in-law?”

Um, no. Depends on the topic, but my advice is no.

TOMORROW we’ll explain how it works. See you then.
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By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn't he?
By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn’t he?

If you benefit from this blog, share it with your friends!

Enjoy my writing brilliance in all its glory on my Author Page HERE http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

and find out about the release of my new book “25 Great eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew” by emailing me at savvystories@outlook.com and I’ll let you know when you can get a free advance copy! Shh! Don’t tell.

Part 2: You Have To Be Willing To Put Yourself Out There As An Author

Yesterday we discussed how you have to put yourself out there as an author.

https://savvystories.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/you-have-to-be-willing-to-put-yourself-out-there-as-an-author/

 

Today we pick up where we left off.

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It’s scary to put yourself out there! So what do we do? We pull back. We play it safe. We make sure NOBODY could think that I the author would ever do those things. I am not a filthy little pervert!

I just pull back from difficult areas and end up writing crappy stories that lack depth and realism.

Sigh.

But there’s hope. Let’s look at this sex scene stuff.

I have a terrific story coming up that deals with a young man who starts out as a skirt chaser, but he ends up falling in love and changing his ways. It’s a cute, it’s funny, and it’s wildly romantic in the long run, but it has a lot of sex early on when he’s still a skirt chaser. However, the sex is all implied. All of it.

There’s a scene where he’s telling his roommate about one time in college when he took a bikini to a female friend’s dorm room to see if it would be an appropriate Christmas gift for a girl he’d been dating for a brief time. Of course, any woman would say it isn’t, but since he’s a college age guy, he doesn’t know that.

Anyway, his friend isn’t in her dorm room – but her pretty neighbor is home, and invites him to wait in her room. Now, the neighbor had never given the guy the time of day before, so he is surprised, but he accepts. They talk a bit and he mentions the gift. She asks if she can see it. He says sure. She looks in the box – and totally disapproves of the bikini as a gift. He doesn’t understand. She asks if he wants her to model it for him, to show that it’s too sexy for a gift this early in the relationship. What! He thinks he’s died and gone to heaven. She’s pretty. Of course he will let her try it on. She has him wait in the hall and then peeks her head out and tells him that the bikini is definitely too sexy – and that he cannot give it to a girl he has just started dating. He is crestfallen, because it’s too late to get something else, but as he reconciles himself to that thought in the hallway, she opens the door. She is still wearing the bikini.

Again, he is in heaven.

She lets him back into her room and shuts the door. Probably everybody but the main character knows where this is headed now. She modeled it for him, as promised, but in an entirely disapproving manner. “This is too sexy, you cannot give it to her.” He agrees, saddened that he has no gift for his new girl now. “Do you want me to take it off?”

He sighs and says yes. So she takes it off. With him sitting right there. He tries to be a gentleman and avert his eyes, but he is in that tiny dorm room…

About that time, his roommate interrupts the story. “Let me guess, the neighbor kept the bikini.”
“Dude, when she was finished with me, I didn’t even remember there was a bikini!”

There you go: funny, sexy, and all implied intercourse. What did they do? They may have played checkers in her dorm room after she took off the bikini in front of him. We don’t know – do we, you filthy little perv?

The implied stuff is perfect – for that story. Not so perfect for other stories.

I was helping a writer with a sex scene between two young lovers. The girl has just turned 18, and she is a little shy and insecure; the boy was a little older and had been around a bit.

But the author wanted to covey several things: their relative youth, and the girl’s insecurity about sex. She has never had an orgasm, and she is a little too willing to do whatever a guy – any guy – wants to do. But this guy cares for her. After they have had sex a few times, he knows he wants her to enjoy it, too; it’s not satisfying for him if he knows she is just basically being nice to him. Like most guys his age, he thinks he knows what will work, so the next time they are together, before they do anything else, he offers to go down on her. And like most insecure young ladies her age, she declines. She wasn’t prepared for that; she says she’s afraid she doesn’t smell good “…down there.” Just using those words “…down there” with the ellipse evokes some of her insecurities, and it works for the scene. The author does other things to show how that emotion manifests itself physically (also known as Show, Don’t Tell). She slouches her shoulders, etc.

But the boy is in love and wants his lover to fully enjoy their lovemaking. He wants to be tender and giving. They undress, and as she goes to sit with him on the bed, she does something else that insecure young ladies sometimes do. “One last, nervous, pussy check.”

I like the sentiment, and I said so in my critique of his story. She’s afraid she doesn’t smell good, so she does a quick check to make sure he’s not going to be offended. Perfect.

But…

The description was lacking. I may know what he meant by “pussy check”, and readers might, too, but those words could mean a lot of different things to different people. And the one word is particularly tricky with the ladies.

Clearly the girl did not run to the gynecologist. Nor did she grab a mirror. It’s not that kind of check.

However, it possibly means something different to me than to others. It’s his story; he has to decide how graphic he wants to be here. Typically, it’s a quick finger touch and a sniff, done by her in a way to not appear like that’s what she did. That’s tricky to write, but if you can phrase it to where the reader understands it as a pussy check without directly calling it that, I think that’s better. I think if you show us what she did as opposed to telling us, everyone will understand what happened, and the young love part of the insecurity will enhance the scene. If you can do it briefly and discreetly, it will endear the characters to the reader.

This is where you have to put yourself out there as a writer. In these scenes, in these little moments.

TOMORROW: some of the hows and whys. See you then.

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By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn't he?
By carrying that computer around, he looks like he just might know something, doesn’t he?

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