From The God Machine -
Charlie didn't help. He tried giving me pointers, but he wasn't getting along with Danny any better than I was. We both were sailors traversing rough seas. At least, that's what Charlie said.
"Try complimenting her on her clothes. Chicks dig that." Yeah, that went down well.
I cleared my throat as Danny wandered past. "Hey!" I said, perhaps too loudly.
She jumped, shot me a dark look and then stomped off. Even as I shouted the compliment after her, she continued to stalk away at top speed.
Later, right before lunch, Charlie took me aside. "Maybe you could talk to Danny about herself. You know, ask her questions and stuff. Girls like it when you take an interest in them… Oh, and try not to shout this time.”
Again I tried and failed. "Where are you from?" "What are your parents like?" "What are their names?" Etc.
After a few stiff answers, she left her half-eaten sandwich and with an "Excuse me," she stormed off to the porch.
"What did I do now?" I muttered.
Charlie smirked at me. "I said ask her questions, not interrogate."
From my second attempt at a novel (in my teens), One Was Let to Slip Away -
Einar sighed as they stopped and turned to face one another. “Falí is well, is he not?” he asked, to which Clissier nodded. “What new ill tidings do you wish to bear to me, then?”
They had arrived where a few wicked trees seemed to close in about them, grabbing at their cloaks with twisted hands, meaning to trip and ruin them. But the fingers instantly recoiled as Falí came tramping along close behind. He swiped at the cracked hands with an open palm, and they retreated farther, trembling at the contact. Laughing, Falí smote another low branch and commanded the rest of the bracken to part the way.
“Careful, Falí,” Clissier warned him. Her eyes burned with a dangerous fire, and Falí quickly obeyed as the inferno swept over him. (Author's note: UGH.)