Writing

A part or portion of a larger amount

This year I am writing a novel.

Some of you might recall that last week I decided that I was going to start over. Well, I did and I am happy to say that chapter one is complete and I am very happy with the re-write. The few changes I made to the outline really made everything more cohesive and therefore easier to write.

This week I thought that I would share a section that I edited out.

So, to give a little background here the main character has been having a reoccurring dream about her dead brother:

My eyes flew open in the darkness which was complete inside of me and out. I felt hollow. Jack’s death was a result of the first time they came looking for me; only I didn’t know it was me they were looking for and they must not have either because they seemed satisfied with Jack’s death. Jack who had come to my rescue. Jack who had revealed himself and his magic in a flare as he threw blinding light at the 2 assailants that had me backed into a corner. It gave me just enough time to maneuver into a defensive position but before I could respond they killed him and fled into the shadows like it was an open doorway waiting for their flight. Instead I raced to Jack and pleaded that he hold on till one of our family members returned home. When they did it was already too late; he was gone and I lay defeated beside him unable to save him with a magic I hadn’t yet learned I possessed.

It was through Jack’s death that I learned my family fostered the perception of craziness as a rouse to keep things hidden and to remain undetected. Unlike me Jack had embraced his magic and was deep in his studies before that fated night but for me, me cravings for conventional solidified. I promised myself escape. I came to hate all of it before I ever gave it a chance.

The dream repeated every time I closed my eyes and it got shorter and more urgent until it was only a repetition of Jack’s face centimeters from mine urging me home. The feeling that I was being watched become more intense and I found myself looking over my shoulder and changing rooms daily. I never caught a glimpse of who was there and it didn’t matter what I did because I couldn’t escape that feeling that someone was just behind me watching. “This isn’t some paranoia lingering,” I whispered to my reflection in the mirror. Doubt crept in. Maybe I was finally losing that weak grip I had on my sanity?

Thoughts?

By Shari Marshall – 2021

8 thoughts on “A part or portion of a larger amount

  1. Interesting. A lot of background info is given here without being too much of a data-dump – I’m always guilty of too many data-dumps, particularly in early drafts 😉 Over all, for a first draft, I wouldn’t worry the details too much.

    I just finished a rough draft of my WIP. The draft is awful… I’ll wait a few months and then try to get a good second draft from it.

    Keep plugging away at it!

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    1. It really was a data dump, haha. And it was one that I didn’t really think was needed to advance the story. Trent, how do you decide the length of time you wait between a finished first draft and your next go around at it?

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      1. I think after my rough draft I spend 75% of my time trying to smooth out my data-dumps 😉 I don’t know if there are set rules for how long to wait. You do want to come back with fresh eyes, so at least a month, or possibly two. For The Old Mill it was almost two years! It was over a year for The Halley Branch as well… I’m hoping to get started on my current WIP sooner, but we’ll see.

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  2. Hi Shari. I’ll grant this needs some smoothing out but did not feel it was a data dump. It felt more like a strong hook. I like the immediate sense of urgency that had me looking for details ASAP. It flowed well. It was first person, which is always more interesting and compelling. Let me know if you need another beta reader. I’m interested now.

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    1. Thanks Gary. I went back and forth a bit about whether to go with first person or third person omniscient because I like being able to access to the thoughts/experiences of all characters but in the end I decided that first person worked well for the story line. The story I have on the back shelf of mind for later will go third person.

      As for a beta reader, once I get further along, that would probably be really helpful. Thank you!

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