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I thought it was time to move on from the cake tasting, as there are no more convenient eight-sentence chunks in the rest of that chapter, and my constant craving for mocha cake was becoming a hindrance to my lifestyle.
But none of us can be more grateful about this than Viv, who left The Elegant Crumb several paragraphs after her victory over the relentless romanticism of Bibi the Wedding Cake Consultant, desperate for caffeine and perhaps a little sanity.
Good luck, kiddo.
Viv dragged herself into the coffee shop she’d passed by on her four-block sprint to The Elegant Crumb. The rich scent of roasted beans gave her enough of a boost to reach the counter and she ordered the largest to-go cup the barista could find, grabbed a handful of sugar packets and a wooden stirrer, before collapsing at a table near the front window.
Her name was called, and she managed to get her cup back to her seat without incident, unlidded it, sipped, grimaced, doctored it, and dove in. When she came up for air, she had company.
Tall, broad-shouldered company, wearing a brown sports coat.
“Hi,” he said, in a familiar voice.
“Hi?” she asked, then relaxed as her brain defogged and recognition dawned. “Oh. Hi.”
If you’ve been following along at all, you’ve already met our mystery man of the broad shoulders, though as the last couple of Sundays have been from his POV, this is the first time those shoulders—which are really quite exceptional, as this is my story, and it’s possible I have a thing about those things—have been noted on page.
I originally wrote the bakery scene from Viv’s POV, and if I’d kept it that way, they would have been noted, because Viv might be severely caffeine-deprived, but she’s not blind.
Ignoring genre, what do your characters notice first about each other?
* “It is by coffee alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of the Coffea that thoughts acquire speed, the nerves acquire vibrations, vibrations become a warning. It is by coffee alone I set my mind in motion.” —
Dune, Frank Herbert Me, every single, flippin’ morning.
The “Coffee and Sunshine” image is by the brilliant Frank Gruber.