Start at the beginning, one, two, three

Meet the players in Chapter one: Sandy and Chloe, seniors at the University of Washington, plan a spring break trip to Hawaii and convince Kerri Ann, their sophomore friend, to tag along:

I’d thought about the trip for quite awhile before committing. They’d been afraid I wouldn’t have enough money to come. I did. I saved earnestly, always had, and prided myself on squeezing every drop of value out of money, that way you didn’t need too much of it. Currently, my stash nested inside books on the board and cement block shelf in my U-Dub dorm room. (A Single Pearl, Chapter One)

Scene: Kerri Ann and Lee meet in Hawaii for the first time by the hotel’s pool.

Icons: plus sign ‘+’ to denote good, minus ‘-’ not, and a ‘?’ for obvious.

Ginger: +pool explanation, +goose white skin, +hairy chests, -sunglasses, how could she see his eyes if he wore sunglasses? +like the first meeting, +off with her ends, +hair description…nice dude, +great dialogue.

Jade: +good describing the smells, ‘slowly re-threaded,’ +nice slowly describing the man, ++good description on the eyes.

Kelly: +description of pool scene, cab scene, good inner thought.

Lisa: +good description of poolside and ocean, ‘Pleasure or wickedness’ Wickedness doesn’t feel like right word, +‘North or South,’ +good description of his eyes, +‘off with their ends,’ -would like more fore-shadowing of depression if possible, +like her discomfort of joining Chloe’s family.

Melanie: +deep end position thoughts, goose white skin, loved ‘open and unending,’ used word ‘tracked’ twice when looking at the man holding sunscreen, + ‘North or south, haha, +great twist that the owner of sunscreen not girlfriend. Depression? Maybe sooner?

Pam: +nice opening for Chapter, setting the scene by the pool, et al. +Your details are good, brings image to reader, +skilled writing, interesting story. +Good banter between the two characters. ? ‘over and over on into infinity’ take out ‘on.’ +’off with their ends,’ good allusion to Alice…

Peggy: +great details especially at beginning, +’lungs’ etc, grounded character, ‘flesh stuck to seats’ and smell of sweat… ?Sweat stung her eye…’ can you add emotion/feelings of her surroundings more before going to the reception area? +‘Falling into his eyes…’ etc. +great job capturing her emotion and feelings, “series of mirrors,’ great metaphor/similes throughout. Great description of Chloe ß fun uses of language.

Sallee: + ‘admiration from the hairy-chested…cabby’s body odor…drop of perspiration…the pool awaits…goose-white skin. Great description of envy/jealousy, more great descriptions and imagery! -I’m not sure where this is headed, or what they want. Is this a romance novel? Emphasis on plot. More about her depression, last chance to see friends? Goal to get away from doldrums?

EDITS: Okay, enough positive feedback to lock into the good stuff and throw out the other. One thousand rewrites cracked the scene down to half to one-quarter of original. I knew why all the characters were where they were, hadn’t quite captured it fully on paper, needed to lead reader more into Kerri Ann’s state of mind, she’s depressed, end of an unsuccessful infatuation, primed for the next love struck moment of her life, and this guy has no idea the tiger he will grab by the tail when he falls for her and he discovers what she’s like when she’s not depressed, and the goose white flesh hit the cutting room floor, Lisa wasn’t sure they would brag that way about themselves.

I chose that spot, near the deep end,
even though it didn’t have enough shade. Strategic, away from the pool steps, away from the parade of flirts who roamed in and out of the water and the echoes of admiration of the hairy-chested who ran after them. I needed peace.
(A Single Pearl, Chapter One).

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