This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Welcome to Writers Tuesday, and indeed the next installment of Novelicious Undiscovered – our showcase of unpublished chick lit writers. Remember, the excerpt that garners the most attention/positive comments will win a lovely award at the end of the year!
Our next excerpt is called Twenty-Somewhere and has been written by Kristan Hoffman. Please do comment, critique and have a good old read. Comments help the writer!
Best friends Sophie, Claudia, and MJ have graduated college and are ready to take on the world! Or so they think. The Real World has other plans in mind.
Follow these young women – an advertising expert in Texas, a writer in the Midwest, and a scientist in England – as they each navigate their own set of work and relationship problems. Fun and friendship guaranteed!
Episode 1: The New Diaspora
Three young women gather at the end of summer to say their goodbyes. Long-limbed Sophie is dressed for a tennis match and has plans to meet X at the courts right after this. She likes to keep busy. MJ sips from her cappuccino, licking foam off her top lip and evaluating the guys in the room. Believe it or not, she’s the nerd of the group. Last but not least is Claudia, late as always. She breezes into the café, spewing apologies in advance.
“Lose track of time working on the book?” MJ asks, scooting over to make room at the table.
“Not exactly,” Claudia says, taking a seat. Sophie hands her the smoothie they ordered in anticipation of her tardy arrival. “I spent all morning looking at pictures of puppies online! Eli found a great shelter near us, and they just got a new litter.”
MJ and Sophie shoot each other knowing looks. Claudia is a writer and has been working on her first novel for a over a year. Now that she’s graduated and is moving in with her boyfriend, she’ll supposedly have time to polish the manuscript and get it sold and published. But every time they ask how it’s going, she’s got a new distraction.
MJ changes the subject. “Ten hours till takeoff.”
“I still can’t believe you’re going to ENGLAND.” Sophie shakes her head and crosses her legs, drawing the attention of a few males nearby. “I’d give anything for a glamorous trip like that.”
“Uh, I am going to be studying. I’m not sure spending seventy-five percent of my time in the dorms or the labs is all that glamorous.”
“Well you’re both moving to new places while I’m stuck at home, so it all seems exciting to me.”
Claudia rolls her eyes. “Trust me, there’s nothing glamorous or exciting about the Midwest.” She has been openly unenthused about the location of Eli’s job from day one.
“Hey! Maybe you both could visit me sometime.”
Sophie and Claudia smile politely. Even at the prestigious ad agency she’ll soon be working for, Sophie is starting at the bottom of the totem pole. She has already mourned all the new shoes, bags, and dresses she won’t be able to afford. There’s definitely no transoceanic trip in her future. And Claudia has known since age nine that she would be a starving artist living in a cardboard box. Living with Eli only means a bigger, nicer cardboard box. Unfortunately, no matter how big or nice, cardboard boxes don’t fly.
“That’d be nice,” she says at the same time Sophie mumbles, “Yeah, maybe.”
They all smile at each other.
“It’s going to be a lot harder to keep in touch,” MJ says. She doesn’t mention how she has been fighting off tears for the past two weeks worrying about losing her friends. After a hard battle for scholarships, MJ can finally afford her dream of studying at a certain prestigious British university, but lately she’s been having second thoughts. She did a term abroad before, but spending one to two years away from everyone she knows is a little different.
“We’ll be alright, girls,” Claudia reassures her friends. “We’ve done this for the past four years of college.”
After a moment’s hesitation, MJ and Sophie nod. To ease everyone’s minds, they move on, discussing lighter subjects like movies, music, politics, parents.
Before they know it, it’s time to go. They stand and head for the door. Just outside the café, they take turns hugging each other, then step back. Just as she’s about to wave and walk away, Claudia feels something on her shoulder and gasps. MJ and Sophie start laughing.
“Shit!” She means it literally. “Is it a sign that on the day we’re all embarking on a new phase of our lives, I got pooped on?”
Sophie and MJ glance at each other. “Nah!”
MJ offers the napkin from her cappuccino. Claudia sighs and wipes the bird poop off her shoulder. They say goodbye once more, this time following through. As they walk away, they all believe they have done a good job portraying confidence in their futures. They have grown up with high expectations and succeeded so far; why should things change now? Since childhood they have firmly placed one foot in front of the other, always following the right path. And yet they can’t help wondering, Where, oh where, are we going?
Episode 2: Jocks, jerks, nerds, and nitwits
When MJ, Sophie, and Claudia went to college, they were expecting the best four years of their lives. You’ll have a blast, they were told. You’ll make the greatest friends of your life. You’ll meet the men of your dreams.
They did have fun, and they did make friends, and they did meet men. But they also worked harder than they ever had in their lives. They found drama and pettiness where they expected laughter and understanding. They encountered jocks, jerks, nerds, and nitwits. The promises fell short.
Still, all three had serious boyfriends in college. MJ dated Chris for two years, before deciding he was too serious about their relationship and their future. She was looking for something more fun, less intense. She hopes she can find it in England.
Sophie realized that she could love her best guy friend, X, who had obviously adored her for years. They became closer and closer until soon they were almost one person. And maybe that was the problem: they shared the same space, the same words, the same air, and they suffocated each other. Now that they are broken up, they actually get along much better. Some people don’t notice the difference — they still seem like a couple — but Sophie and X notice. Because now they can breathe.
Claudia is considered the lucky one, at least in love. She and Eli have been together for over three years, and now they have a little house together, a puppy, a life. “You never have to sit in your room alone,” MJ emails one night as she’s banging her head against her biology textbook. “You don’t have to wait until after 9 pm to call someone so that it’s free,” Sophie says after X moves to the East Coast to pursue his PhD.
… To Be Continued!