The following is the paragraph that I took with me. It was remarkably well-received, so naturally I'm hoping that's more because I'm a writing genius than because the people around here are really polite. Truthfully, I'm sure it was a combination of me picking one of my good paragraphs and people being encouraging. :)
Anyway! This scene, in the original, is from Clayton and Natasha's first date. In the rewrite, I'll be keeping the conversation but moving it to earlier in their friendship, before they start dating.
“So, Nat— why do you go by ‘Nat’?” Clayton asked once they were seated.
“I’ve been called that my whole life. Besides, it’s shorter,” Natasha explained.
“Don’t you think it makes you sound like a small flying insect?” he asked.
He saw her face. “I’m sorry; that was rude. I meant it to be funny.”
She relented. “I do think that, actually. But like I said, I’ve had it for most of my life, so I’m used to it by now. I got teased for it in middle school, but that’s a long time ago.”
“Well—“ he paused. “What if I called you something else? How about ‘Tasha’?”
“Tasha?” Natasha hesitated. The thought of a man wanting to give her a nickname was endearing, but what if this didn’t work out? She could never use that nickname again.
If I find any more excerpts I like well enough to share, I'll continue posting them. Actually, this really helps with the revision, one itty-bitty nugget at a time.
Do you have a nickname? One you don't mind sharing with the class?