Great to be back with the Friday Fictioneers (although I must admit I rather enjoyed my week in the Bahamas, leaving you with some scheduled posts in my absence!). This week the light from Rochelle‘s brandish falls on a photo from Kent Bonham – a challenging prompt indeed for a real life writer like myself. Let me know what you think!
Standing on the balcony, Melissa felt like Juliet after the masquerade ball. But there would be no Romeo climbing up to reach her tonight, and if Queen Mab was abroad, Mercutio wasn’t dancing with her.
Peter Ransome was downstairs: her very own Paris. Wasn’t the dead-cert Prom Queen supposed to attend with her King?
What would Juliet do? She thought, looking two floors down at the ground. But Juliet was married when she died; Lee didn’t even know how she felt yet. And Romeo wouldn’t jump.
She grasped tightly onto the drainpipe and swung her leg over the balcony railing.
For those who enjoy these things, here’s the original version, together with some notes about the changes.
Standing out [cut – sounds like she’s standing out, rather than standing alone] on the balcony, she felt like Juliet after the masquerade ball. But there would be no Romeo climbing up to reach her tonight, and if Queen Mab was abroad, Mercutio wasn’t dancing with her. [I fought to keep this phrase in. It would have been an easy cut in one sense, but I have a strong affection for Queen Mab and Mercutio – those who met Vacant Edward will know why! -and this is one puppy I just couldn’t kill. Besides, it adds richness or texture or something.]
“Melissa, Peter’s here,” her Mum called from downstairs. [Ah, the old “exposition as dialogue” thing. Doesn’t stop it being exposition, and it was too many words. Had to go]
Peter: her very own Paris. Wasn’t the dead-cert Prom Queen supposed to attend with her future King?
What would Juliet do? She thought, looking down at the ground, two floors below. But Melissa hadn’t married her Romeo yet. He didn’t even know how she felt. [This whole final section really needed more words to do it justice, but I didn’t have that luxury. I played around with it a lot, trying to show Melissa’s emotions and dilemma better. Let me know if you have any ideas on how it could be improved!]
Juliet might jump, Melissa thought, but I can be Romeo instead. She grasped tightly onto the drainpipe and swung her leg over the balcony railing.
39 responses to “Friday Fiction – Star-crossed”
I can feel your character’s angst from here. Nicely done!
Thanks, Penny. I am clearly in teenage mode this week, as yesterday’s post confirms!
I just LOVE how you take us to the dark side. Nice job, Jen!
Not too dark though, this week! Glad you liked it.
i loved this dark tale and the references. i enjoyed getting a peek at her the character’s thoughts 🙂
She and I have both studied this play too often, perhaps!
Daring girl this Melissa… I like her.. 😉
hurray! I’m delighted you do.
Found myself wanting to say, “Don’t do it. No guy’s worth it!” Nice job.
You never climbed out of your window at home to run off and see a boy, Rochelle?
Nooooo! Whatever Juliet did, do the opposite!
Indeed, Melissa’s going to do what Romeo does with balconies … climb!
Well, the idea got across to me and, for 100 words, I don’t know what more we really expect…good job!
Ideas are a good start, emotions even better.
Great use of the teenage voice…everything is such a drama at that stage! The references to Romeo and Juliet made me realize how long ago I read the play, and how much I need a refresher! I appreciate seeing your first draft and your thoughts during revision…that kind of insight helps me improve my own editing process.
oh don’t re-read it on my account, with the exception of the Queen Mab bit, I don’t even like the play! You’re absolutely right about teenage dramas … strange to look back on after the passage of time.
She has classical thoughts, but doubts that keep her from trying the radical.
nice way of putting it, thanks joe
I really enjoyed this, loved the literary references 🙂
Thanks Carrie, I think I know the play too well because that’s what came to mind when I saw those balconies!
Ahh sometimes I really know I should know Shakespeare better.. but to identiy yourself with Juliet is not healthy… it didn’t end well (that much I know)
Shakespeare’s good for literary references, but I wouldn’t start with R&J for reading. I’m not a fan.
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I didn’t get the teen girl sneaking out of the house until I saw your response to Rochelle. Looking back I should have at least gotten it from the mother in the unrevised piece. After that I enjoyed it because I realized it was a girl who didn’t get her Romeo so she was hooking up with a Paris type of guy.
Thanks for your honesty, Mystikel. I have to say I wanted more words for the second half, to make it a bit clearer. Never mind, it’s all practice.
There were a few this week I didn’t ‘get’ until it was explained to me so it’s probably more of a lesson for me to slow down and really read. 🙂
I prefer the “West Side Story” version…because Maria didn’t jump. And the music is better…”Tonight, Tonight, won’t be just any night…Tonight…
.I will be with “Maria” on the balcony….”Tonight, Tonight…”
haha, lora. Believe it or not, I’ve still never seen WSS. Don’t worry though, our Juliet has no intention of jumping tonight – not without her Romeo.
Heh, rich texture of references and suitably dramatic escape from the wrong date. Awesome 🙂
Cheers, Brian. I wish I’d had her courage as a teenager – my first Romeo still doesn’t know how I felt! I just found another one.
Great story! I can tell you really pour heart and soul into your characters. I enjoyed the feel and flow of your words.
I also really enjoyed your V1 edit reveal. The only thing that seemed off was “She thought;” did you mean to start a new sentence there?
It was a pleasure reading. Thanks!
Thanks Christopher, I’m glad you liked it. I’m terrible at punctuation of speech, but no, I didn’t mean to start a new sentence there, so I guess it should be “she thought”?
Thanks as ever for the notes. On first reading I wasn’t sure what she was going to do as she climbed over the balcony, but with the notes I know she’s on her way to see Lee.
I agree, Sarah Ann, I wish I’d had more words to make it clearer.
I love this building. Where is it located? Does it have a name? TY Carolyn
It’s a Gaudi, I believe it’s called Casa Batlló and is in Barcelona. Incredible, isn’t it?
Yes,its so imaginative. I am going to search for it on line now. Thank you for taking the time to answer.