Monday, February 9, 2015

Jello - A Where's Waldo for Writers

Some of my writer friends and I were chatting about those movements that you accidentally build into your manuscript eleventy billion times. Every writer has one. Each of my friends named theirs. And I wondered....could I write a one-page story and use every single one?

Play along! Try to find them all. And note what you find in the comments. :-)

Photo credit RVWithTito via Flickr
Jello bit her lip as Dax leaned against his locker after school. When he handed his little brother, Hunter, a set of keys and ran a hand through his disheveled hair, she couldn't prevent a sigh from escaping her lips. He might have been an ass when it came to teachers, but he was super sweet with little kids.

The high school principal, Mrs. Buff, strode purposefully down the hall. Her lips pursed then dropped open: "Dax Bruenings!"

He jumped, meeting Jello's eyes across the hall. Like every time, his gaze made her insides quiver. When Mrs. Buff stood before him, Jello couldn't make out the principal's words, but her furious tone was unmistakeable. Not again.

Dax studied his shoes, and a scowl crept over little Hunter's face. The boy's eyes began to glisten as he soaked up every presumably nasty word directed at his big, idiot brother.

Despite giving Hunter's shoulder a gentle shove, the boy stood his ground. Dax glanced up, his eyes beseeching, begging for rescue.

Jello swallowed down a gulp. Mrs. Buff wasn't exactly the forgiving type, and Jello'd already had one run-in with her this year. But Dax needed her, and he'd already had two detentions this month.

The stack of books in her hands trembled, but Jello sneaked up behind the principal.  One deep breath for courage and—


Jello's books slammed onto the floor. Mrs. Buff jumped half a foot high. The stack slid apart, with a couple books thudding against the back of Mrs. Buff's legs. Jello winced.

Mrs. Buff spun to Jello, both eyebrows arched until they were barely visible under her bangs. She exhaled a deep breath. "A bit clumsy today, Ms. Whistler?"

Behind the principal's back, Dax and his brother tiptoed down the hall.

"Ohh, well, I—uhh," Jello stammered.

Dax raised a hand in thanks as he disappeared around the corner. The principal shook her head at Jello. "Now, Dax—" she began, pivoting back toward the locker on the ball of her foot.

Jello retrieved her books from the floor and slunk back to her own locker.

"Where is that boy?" Mrs. Buff fumed. She stalked off angrily, and Jello released a breath she hadn't realized she was holding.

Once her books were stowed in her bag, Jello's phone buzzed. Dax.

Hunter keeps saying you're the best, Jell. And he's right. See you tonight.

So, did you spot them all? And which overused phrases did I miss?


  1. You rock! I love that I get to be the principal. :-)

    1. Thanks Patti. It was fun to write, and to cast. ;)