A Star is Born | Teen Ink

A Star is Born

February 15, 2011
By drmstarlet21 GOLD, Matthews, North Carolina
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drmstarlet21 GOLD, Matthews, North Carolina
13 articles 0 photos 76 comments

Author's note: My friends inspired this piece. A few sentences of dialogue and another few scenes are based off of personal experiences.

The author's comments:
In the beginning, I want the description of Noella to be third person, but I also desire the story to be from her point of view. The way I chose to do it is, I fear, too informal. If you can think of any other way, please let me know through comments. Thanks!

In a high school cafeteria in Birchall, Connecticut, a young girl was sketching with a lump of charcoal. She was sitting alone at an oblong-shaped Cherrywood table. Dressed nice-casually in tall grey Uggs, black leggings and a belted navy sweater dress, her long dark hair was pulled up in a messy ponytail, with strands hanging about in her indigo eyes. A grey wool pea coat was hanging off the back of her chair. Her intense gaze never left the sketchbook page, not even when the amount of shouting teenagers surrounding her doubled. Her sketchbook cover was of royal blue felt inscribed in slanted writing with a name: Noella R. Singer.
That girl? She’s me.
I tucked a lock of long dark hair behind one ear and continued scrawling. The noise behind me escalated until the chatter became overwhelming, and I slammed my sketchbook shut, irritated. Sighing, I reluctantly opened it again to scrutinize the grand piano I’d just drawn. The girl sitting at the bench was similar to me, from the back. I turned to the page before it, quickly studying the drummer and the singer. They were my best friends, Roxana Blackwell and Camille Sinclair.
The three of us were sophomores that had all transferred from the public school in our town to the private academy just outside it for the second semester. We had wanted to transfer at the beginning of the year, but Roxana hadn’t gotten in until too late. So we had waited, because it was better in our opinions to all be here with each other.
I picked up my composition book, slid it into the middle of my sketchbook, and stood up fully prepared to go somewhere quieter when two girls plopped down on either side of me.
“Going somewhere?” Roxana asked playfully, one eyebrow cocked. She popped a cherry in her mouth, chewed, and spat out the pit into her hand. Her obsession with them had grown since Christmas, and it was only mid-January.
“Not anymore,” I said, shrugging with a sloppy grin. I placed my notebooks carefully back on the table and plunked down again. Glancing at Camille, I offered in a distinct, bad accent, “Bonjour, Cherie.” She grinned at my inept attempt at French.
“What time is it?” Roxana asked nonchalantly, chewing another cherry.
Camille glanced behind her at the clock and replied in a murmur of her sweet, sensitive voice, “It is...seven thirty-five.”
I turned to stare out the nearest window at the immaculate brick buildings and verdant grounds of Lancaster Academy. There were students, such as my friends, who boarded at the school. I couldn’t see any middle school buildings, even with the vast view in front of me. The dorms are shared by middle and high schoolers, and those buildings are in-between the two parts of campus, shielding them from each other for the most part.
I didn’t board because my house was on the edge of town closest to the school, and also I wasn’t ready to be completely separated from my three younger sisters and our Westie-poo puppies.
“Hello? Starlet?” Roxana waved her cherry-stained fingers in front of my face as I slowly zoned back into reality.
“Get your head out of the clouds and back into this conversation!” Camille giggled, placing her dainty hands on her narrow hips.
“Good one,” I grumbled, rolling my eyes. I tugged on a lock of hair that I had streaked silver over the winter break. It shone like moonlight, starkly contrasting with the rest of my dark mane.
“Xana, what do you have first period?” Camille asked.
Roxana blinked. “Wow, haven’t heard that nickname in a while!” she teased, tossing a cherry pit back into the Ziploc on the table. “I thought I was Jinx?”
Camille paused for a moment, deep in thought. “Yeah, well, nobody likes Jinx but you. Sorry,” she said unapologetically. Normally gentle and soft-spoken, Roxana always brought out Camille’s bantering side. If only a guy could do the same.
“Aren’t either of you at all nervous about our first day here?” I asked to interrupt them, feeling jittery. I placed my chin in my hands and drummed my fingers on my cheekbones, a tendency of mine whenever I felt uncomfortable.
The two of them exchanged a look.
“Nope,” Roxana said simply and cheerfully, crossing her tights-clad legs with much effort because of her short red pencil skirt. She seriously loved everything that was red, be it food, clothing, nature, etc. “I’m good!”
“Yeah, but you’re you,” I reminded her. I bit my lip, my eyebrows pulled together in a worried frown.
“I am, but not too bad,” Camille told me, straightening her frilly powder blue blouse self-consciously, her butter-cream skin paling. “I recognize some of these kids from orientation in September. We’ll be fine, at least we have each other…?”
“Just relax,” Roxana said, pretending to toss her boy-short, tousled jet-black locks. “You got this.”
“We got this,” Camille added. “C’mon Starlet. We’ve got Music and Lyrics, right?”
I nodded, as Roxana groaned, making up a quiet beat on the table with the tips of her fingers. “I have…?”
Camille laughed. “Try your schedule, maybe?”
“I would if I could find it….”
Camille and I both sighed, shaking our heads. Camille’s golden blonde waves shimmered from the natural light coming in through the floor-to-ceiling window.
“What are we going to do with you?” Camille reprimanded Roxana.
“Love me anyway?” Roxana quipped.
Camille blinked her hazel eyes, considering that for a moment. “I suppose,” she sighed. “Sometimes.”
“Shut up,” Roxana insisted, narrowing her cool grey eyes and scrunching up her face, her lips a violent crimson from the bag of cherries, now empty except for pits.
I just grinned, purposely staying out of the conversation until there was silence, to which I typically announced, “Ooh, awkward!”
“It’s not awkward until you make it awkward!” Roxana trilled, her expression playful.
I rolled my eyes, and they darkened to a near violet. “Funny.”
Camille giggled and I stood, jostling her. They followed my example, minus the bumping, and my expression grew serious.
After briefly consulting my mapped-out schedule, I told Roxana, “We’re going that way.” Camille helpfully pointed in the right way for me. “You’re going, like, the complete opposite direction.”
“Well. That’s just great.” Roxana pouted, knowing perfectly well that a group of guys were staring at her. Story of her life, even more so when her hair is long.
“Better hurry,” Camille warned. “You’re gonna be late.”
“What?” Roxana crinkled her eyebrows in confusion. “I have ten minutes. At least.”
“That’s still not enough time for you,” I put in playfully, running a hand through my sleek ponytail.
“Yeah, we all know you’ll get lost on the way,” Camille added, giggling widely enough for her dimples to be apparent.
“Fine.” Roxana meandered over to the group of four guys. Their eyes widened, and they punched each other on the arm in warning.
She chatted with them for a few moments, then linked arms with two as they began skipping to the other side of the cafeteria.
“Later, Starlet. Cherie,” Roxana called over her shoulder.
My friends dubbed me Starlet for a couple of reasons. One is that my ex-boyfriend, whom I dated for a long, long time, is called Jordan Starr. The other is that they claim I am going to be the next big starlet because of my compositions. Camille is Cherie because she used to call everybody cherie, which is French for darling, so we all began to call her that instead.
We were silent, until Camille broke it by exclaiming, “God, she’s good.”
A boy from a nearby table got up and walked over to us. He glanced from Cherie to me, and then said rather uncomfortably, “Look, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but who is that girl? Everyone thinks she’s kinda hot.” He blushed, looking down so that a few tresses of shaggy chestnut brown hair fell into his eyes before adding nearly inaudibly, “Not that we don’t, uh, think you girls are, too?”
I stared at him, then after Roxana and her tall, slender, perfectly sculpted dancer’s body as well as her slow saunter.
“That,” Camille said quietly, flushing, “is Roxana Blackwell. Our best friend. And, you are?”
“Sorry, um, I’m Lee. Er, Hayes. Lee Hayes,” he said, raising his head to look her straight in the eye. His crackling hazel eyes flickered like lightning, and Camille and I both faltered at their intensity.
“I’m Noella, and this is Camille,” I told him. “Uh, we’re sophomores.”
He smiled. “Me, too.”
“Do you think you could tell us who those guys are with Roxana?” I asked, my deep blue eyes bright with curiosity.
“Of course,” Lee answered. “The tall guy on her right, with the black hair? That’s Skylar Ridenger. Tatum Love is the shorter one on her left with the lighter hair. They’re sophomores, too. The other guys are their junior friends from the soccer team, I don’t remember their names though.”
I craned my neck to see over the heads of the crowd of teenagers. Even from here, I could tell Skylar was cocky and Tatum more laidback just by their body language (I’m into psychology.) “Great, thanks,” I said, genuinely surprised at Lee’s thoroughness.
“No problem,” Lee replied. “Tell your friend to be careful with Skylar though; he has a girlfriend. And she’s, uh, to be nice… a bit temperamental.”
Camille and I exchanged a look.
“Is it in any way unusual that they swarmed her right away?” Camille asked, crossing her arms across her chest.
“Eh, not really.” Lee shrugged, before going on to say sarcastically, “I’m just surprised Charlie isn’t with them.”
“Charlie?” I asked quizzically. “Who’s he?”
Lee’s eyes flashed dangerously. “Oh, he’s just their, I dunno, leader, I guess you could say. If I were you, I’d stay far, far away from Charlie Snow.”
“Um, thanks for the advice,” I replied, troubled, and beginning another nervous habit: tugging on my earlobes. Luckily, I’d chosen not to wear earrings that morning.
“So, maybe I’ll see you both around?” Lee asked awkwardly, flattening down his bangs.
“Sure,” Camille said, flashing him a smile and twirling one blond curl.
As he left, she gripped my arm so tightly I gasped. “Camille! Stop!”
She released me reluctantly. “He. Is. So. Freakin’. Cute!”
“Yeah, understood, if you like that apprehensive, yet sophisticated kind of guy.” I shrugged, laughing. Lee’s jeans and long-sleeved white henley combo suited his lanky physique and personality. The required grey blazer and red tie for the boys did the same.
“Anyway,” Camille said as she looked around, still frazzled by Lee. “It’s time for class?”
“That would be correct,” I said, contemplating before I added, “um, allez-y?”
She giggled. “If you’re trying to say ‘let’s go’…”
“I’m quite aware of what I said.” I sniffed, knotting my ponytail around my fingers.
“Clearly not. You said, allez-y, which means: go ahead. I think you meant, allons-y,” Camille corrected me, half-smiling.
“Oh, it’s whatever, let’s just go,” I grumbled good-naturedly, leading the way with my notebooks tucked up under my arm. Camille rushed after me, a Vera Bradley pink-and-purple patterned tote bag slung over her narrow shoulders, and we arrived at what seemed to be the chorus room just in time.
During the journey to our class, Camille kept babbling on about Lee Hayes, who was clearly the new object of her infatuation, while I, on the other hand, couldn’t stop thinking about Charlie Snow.

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This book has 14 comments.

on May. 21 2011 at 9:37 pm
Garnet77 PLATINUM, Sinagpore, Other
31 articles 6 photos 577 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Everything's a triangle." ~ My mother

"Write what you love, write what you care about, because sometimes, it's the easiest way to be heard."

This is amazing! I love where you're going with this. Your writing is very realistic, and the dialogue believable. I can't wait till you post more. I really want to see what happens! And I've read other comments. Don't worry! I'm stuck in my novel as well. It's kind of annoying, since I kind of know where I want the story to go, but I need something to fill the space so that it doesn't seem like I'm jumping. Well, good luck on getting over that writer's block. And great job with what you have so far!

on Mar. 31 2011 at 7:42 am
drmstarlet21 GOLD, Matthews, North Carolina
13 articles 0 photos 76 comments

I'm stuck :( That is the main reason why I don't have more chapters up. I know where I want to go, but I am having trouble getting there. But I'm working on it. It's hard also because I have too little time and too many things I'm working on.

I have a new fantasy novel up called The Eldonian Legends. There are four chapters posted, only because I've had them written for a while. Anyway, it just went up, and has probably one view, so I would love it if you checked that out and let me know what you think! It's kind of weird...and takes place in the distant future...but eh, I like it :) Thanks!!

on Mar. 28 2011 at 4:02 pm
rainbowwaffles BRONZE, Stony Brook, New York
2 articles 0 photos 89 comments

When are ypu posting more chapters? I can't wait!

I have a new realistic fiction book up called It Was True Love (and it's verrry short, actually just a short story) if you want to check it out :)

Please upload more chapters soon!!!

on Feb. 27 2011 at 10:22 am
drmstarlet21 GOLD, Matthews, North Carolina
13 articles 0 photos 76 comments
Eh, I kind of like it :D It is making me wonder. The Fame does the same for me. Alliteration is probably my favorite...hmm...figurative language tool? Haha

on Feb. 26 2011 at 11:56 am
rainbowwaffles BRONZE, Stony Brook, New York
2 articles 0 photos 89 comments
Realistic fiction, I think it's number five today... and it's "The Formation". ha ha I know it's a lame title... it was kind of a last second decision, but I figure the sequel would be called "The Fame" and I've always been a fan of alliteration.  :)

on Feb. 26 2011 at 10:02 am
drmstarlet21 GOLD, Matthews, North Carolina
13 articles 0 photos 76 comments
Thank you all for reading and commenting! I would love it if you told your friends about my story :)

on Feb. 26 2011 at 9:14 am
drmstarlet21 GOLD, Matthews, North Carolina
13 articles 0 photos 76 comments

Nice, I completely agree with you! ;D

Oh, and which section is The Foundation in?

on Feb. 25 2011 at 7:42 pm
rainbowwaffles BRONZE, Stony Brook, New York
2 articles 0 photos 89 comments
Hmm... I'm not entirely sure about your rainbow waffles question :) I'm always bad at choosing user names, but I thought that rainbow waffles would taste... fruity. :D

on Feb. 25 2011 at 11:00 am
drmstarlet21 GOLD, Matthews, North Carolina
13 articles 0 photos 76 comments

Thank you so much! :D I'm glad it's interesting to you. This was relatively new when I posted it, and I am almost done with the first draft of the second chapter. Hopefully editing won't take too long!

Thank you for noticing, why yes they are...in a way. :) This will be better introduced in the chapters to come. That certainly is ironic; I'd love to check it out!

Just one question...how delicious are rainbow waffles, and what makes them the color of the rainbow? ;) wink wink

on Feb. 24 2011 at 9:33 pm
rainbowwaffles BRONZE, Stony Brook, New York
2 articles 0 photos 89 comments

I love this story so far! I really liked the opening paragraph, and I think the third person to first person transition is great! I didn't really find any grammatical or punctuational errors... And I love your writing style, it never gets dull. I can't wait to read more!

So, are Noella, Roxana, and Camille in a band? I have a novel up about a band of teenaged girls as well, ironically. :) It's called The Formation if you wanna check it out and lend me some advice.

on Feb. 21 2011 at 11:00 am
drmstarlet21 GOLD, Matthews, North Carolina
13 articles 0 photos 76 comments

Thanks for the criticism, it was very constructive! I completely agree with everything, now that I think about it.

I definitely need to work on that habit.

You don't need to apologize. I seriously am happy with anything you have to say, even if someone says it's awful, because that will just motivate me to do better. I really appreciate your efforts to help my story, and I'll start editing as soon as I can. I began this pretty recently and haven't had much time to edit a lot, but I'll try to put your suggestions to use, along with finishing the second chapter. Thanks again! You rock:)

on Feb. 20 2011 at 9:57 pm
lovelycheese GOLD, Cupertino, California
11 articles 0 photos 136 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you have something to do, then do it. You can't get wasted time back." ~Ben Carson.

I know how much every comment will mean to you on this book, so I'll do my very best to critique. Please don't take any of the criticism personally, though! 

Your first sentence isn't quite intriguing. Instead of directly mentioning the city/town 'Birchall, Connecticut' I think it will flow better if you manage to pop it in discreetly elsewhere. 'She was sitting alone in the cafeteria, sketching with a lump of charcoal.' Don't put too much description on unimportant details, like the table. 'She was dressed nice - tall grey Uggs over black leggings....' might work better. 

Ooh, I like that second paragraph a lot. I totally wasn't expecting it - which is good. 

Alright - so make sure you 'show' the reader, instead of telling. I know, I have that habit sometimes too, but direct telling about characters' actions gets boring for the reader. 'Sighing, I fingered the worn cover open again to scrutinize that grand piano I'd just drawn.' 

Sorry if I'm picking out the slightest details. (I'm writing this a long as I go) You don't always have to put a 'she said / asked / teased' at the end of every quotation. Simply put in the action. 'Roxana blinked. 'Wow, haven't heard that nickname in a while!' She tossed the cherry pit back into her Ziploc.

I read the rest of the story. I love the plot so far, and I really believe you have talent. This is one of the few novels I've reviewed on Teen Ink that has proper punctation/grammar (I don't think I caught a spelling mistake at all!) and amazing description. I love this. Tell me when you submit more, and I'll be more than glad to continue reading!

on Feb. 18 2011 at 8:59 pm
drmstarlet21 GOLD, Matthews, North Carolina
13 articles 0 photos 76 comments
Thank you so much! That means a lot, especially since this is the first thing I have ever published. I'll try to get the next few chapters up as soon as I can!

Smarti said...
on Feb. 18 2011 at 6:05 pm
I loved this.  I like how you started it, and I can't wait for more!