Before posting the next “also ran,” I want to show you how I edited the opening paragraph of my earlier effort, as recommended by Ms. Alice, my blogging, writing friend. She said,
The way it begins, I assumed it was Cookie’s story, but then it switched to Azalea’s inner thoughts. Would a slight adjustment of the beginning make a difference, so that we know immediately this is Cookie’s story?
The original draft reads –
Cookie decided she better answer him even though the history teacher looked past her to me. My friend’s voice skipped an octave. “Uh, because women didn’t have the same opportunities to explore the world?”
“Possibly, Miss Abbott,” Mr. Theobold said, and then he turned and planted his size fifteen wingtips close to my desk. “Can you add any insights, Azalea Jones?”
I flinched when a bit of spittle squirted from his mouth to my forehead. Glaring at this pathetic excuse for an educator, I pulled a Kleenex from my backpack, blotted away the saliva, and then jammed the tissue into my pocket.
“No, not really, Mr. Theobold. But I’m pretty sure I know what mighty revelation you’re ready to share, thus confounding the simplicity of our feminine minds.”
Here’s the revision:
Mr. Theobold planted his size fifteen wingtips within inches of my desk and his bloodshot eyes burrowed into mine, but his question was directed to my friend Cookie, not me.
I listened to her shaky voice attempt to answer, “Uh, because women didn’t have the same opportunities to explore the world?”
obnoxiousteacher didn’t turn away from the stare-down. “Possibly, Cookie Abbott. Can you add any insights, Azalea Jones.” (Theobold always called us by our first and last names, as if the class was filled with numerous “Cookies” and “Azaleas.” Behind his back, we called him Mr. TheoBALD.)
I flinched as a bit of spittle squirted from his mouth to my forehead. “No, not really, Mr. Theobold. But I’m pretty sure you’re ready to share a mighty revelation that will confound the simplicity of our feminine minds.”
Then I pulled a Kleenex I had jammed into my backpack to wipe away all traces of his DNA.
Now for the question: Whose story is this?
a. Cookie Abbott’s
b. Azalea Jones’
c. None of the above