Tag Archive | fiction

NaNoWriMo 2012 – The First Few Days; Love Authority – The First 1,000 Words

I’m killing two goals with one stone tonight: my update on NaNo/ROW80, and my first 1,000 words of the novel. Yep, I’m going live with the first 1,000 words of the novel, brave or what.

I saw on Twitter on day one, that people were posting their first lines. It made me realise the first line had to be good – real good (OK, I knew that already, it reminded me!), but not just the first line, sentence, paragraph, the whole of the beginning.

Maybe that’s why the writing isn’t coming easily to me. When I say not easily, by the end of today, I should be rocking 6,667 words. I’m currently on 1,500. Ouch!

I’m not feeling it this year. Steve and I were discussing it last night, which gave me an idea of why.

This isn’t romance, or chick lit. This year it’s going to be a mystery/thriller. I’ve never been sure if I can write that. I think you need to be really clever, and think up great twists, and have a great plan. I don’t really yet, and I’m not sure I can think up enough. Of course everyone I say that to tells me I’m being stupid, of course I can. Maybe I just need the confidence to.

Because I don’t have the confidence in myself right now, I think this novel is going to be a mess. But, as Steve pointed out, it’s not meant to be a finished product on 30th November. Other than needing tens of thousands of words added, it’s also going to need editing, where all the problems can be fixed, and I can make it a decent novel. All I need to do in November is get to the 50,000 line.

But I’m a perfectionist. I don’t want to start something knowing it’s probably not going to be any good. I want it to be good from the off.

This from a girl who NEVER edits as she goes. Can you believe it?

So, I’m behind. Massively. And I’ve got a massively busy week this week, I’m out all nights but one. Eeek! Steve’s challenged me to catch up by Sunday next week. So that’s my goal this week – get to 18,334 by Sunday night.

Jeez. Saying it like that sounds crazy. I’m not going to work out how many words a day that is, cause I’m pretty sure it will scare the hell out of me. I’m just going to aim for OVER 1,667 per day. Including today. Although I’ve only given myself another 45 minutes to get there (convinced I need an early night to get through this week). I’m going to write at lunch, when I get home before dinner, and after dinner. Oh, I’m going out a lot. Well, still.

I’m going to pretty much ignore all other goals except blogging. I need to get at least one ROW80/NaNo check in this week, and post some writing – probably from the novel again. So minimum of two blogs. One really, I can merge them like this one. I’d like two though.

So that’s it. Easy goals. Just under 17,000 words. And 1-2 blogs. Easy, right??

And now, to Love Authority.

I’m going on the old Fiction Friday rules, and NaNo necessity, of not editing as I go, and posting without editing! Eeek! This is the prologue and beginning of the first chapter of my 2012 NaNo novel Love Authority.

Prologue: Four days ago.

             ‘I give up,’ Amy said putting her wine down on the table and sinking into the chair opposite me, ‘He’s not coming.’

            I look up from my cheese sandwich, an extravagance which I thought David might kill me for, but I was so hungry because of staying late at work I hadn’t been able to go home. I just hoped David wouldn’t make me ask Amy for the money back for it.

            ‘Aw, Ames, I’m so sorry. Here, you want half of this?’ She shook her head, then laid it down on the table on her arms.

            ‘Why can’t I just find someone nice?’ she said, muffled through her arms. ‘Why does this always happen to me?’

            ‘You’ve been stood up before?’

            She lifted her head to give me an evil eye. ‘No, you know what I mean. I can’t find anyone nice. It just sucks.’

            I reached over and stroked her arm. ‘Least you’ve got Shannon.’ At the mention of her daughter’s name, Amy’s face lit up, a little.

            ‘Yes, I’ve got Shannon.’ I couldn’t help being jealous. Yes, I had the husband, which was fantastic (can you hear the sarcasm?), but to have a child? That would be magical. More than magical. It was everything I’d ever dreamed about. But, I coudlnt’ think like that. I didn’t want to get dragged down by the bad feelings that resurrect when I think of what could have been.

            ‘There will be someone out there, I promise.’

            ‘Do you? That’s bold. I need to face facts, no one wants a divorcee. God, I can’t blame them, I wouldn’t want to meet someone that had chosen to get a divorce. No, I’m destined to sit on the shelf.’

            Secretly I thought she was so brave getting divorced. Of course for her, the beatings were the motivation, I don’t have that, just a plain old boring marriage to a boring man. So not worth a divorce. I’d just have to grin and bare it, and hope he died before I did so I’d have some time alone.

            At least he didn’t beat me up. That’s a good thing.

Chapter One: Two days ago.

            My phone buzzed with excitement as I got out the tube, my heart sank. Please, not work. I’d only left an hour ago, but that didn’t mean someone couldn’t have called in sick in that time. It had happened too many times.

            I debated ignoring it, but I knew the extra money would be good, so I gave in. I was shocked when Shannon’s school number was my missed. My 7 missed

            That couldn’t be good.

            Before I listed to the voicemail, I rang them back. 7 Calles meant something was wrong, I may not have time to list to my message.

             ‘Hello? I was always quite intimidated by the teachers at the school. It wasn’t posh or anything, but they were teachers, so incredibly far from us it didn’t feel too different to speaking to the king or queen. Amy always said I was being silly, and they were fine (moost of them anyway), but I couldn’t’ shake the feeling.

            ‘Uh, hello. It’s X X, Shannon X’s Aunt. I’ve had some…’

            ‘X, good. We’ve got Shannon here. Her Mum didn’t turn up. Can you collect her?’

            ‘She didn’t’ collect Shannon? I asked pointlessly. I was shocked, Amy never let Shannon down, never forgot her, nothing. Ever. ‘Have you tried calling her?’

            The teacher cleared her throat down the phone, obviously to make a point. ‘Many times,’ she said. X, we have to have Shannon collected soon. We have homes to go to ourselves.’

            I looked at my watch to calculate the time it would take by bus or tube to get across town. Too long. I ground my teeth.

            ‘Certainly. I can be there in 15 minutes.’ There was an intake of breath down the phone, obviously she wanted me there quicker. ‘I’m sorry, that’s the soonest I can get there.’ I hung up the phone and looked round for a taxi, praying I’d get that phone call tomorrow offering another shift to make up the taxi money. At this rate David would divorce me and I’d be left out on the streets.

 

            ‘Aunty X!’ The second Shannon saw me she came running into my arms. I lifted and spun her round, trying to ignore the looks of disgust from the teacher behind her. ‘Is Mummy ok?’ Shannon whispered as I set her back down. I looked at the teacher and waved.

            ‘Thank you. Sorry.’ Then I grabbed Shannon’s hand and ran as fast I as I knew her little legs would take her.

            ‘Where’s Mummy?’ Shannon asked when the door closed behind us. I bent down to her level.

            ‘I don’t know Shannon.’ I’d tried calling her multiple times on my way over. It was ringing and ringing, not even her voicemail was picking up. I had no idea why not, or where she was, or why she wasn’t answering it. I’m really worried, but I can’t let Shannon know that. 

            ‘I’m sure she’s fine, you know sometimes she’s a bit scatty.’ She wasn’t, but I doubted Shannon would argue. ‘So how about you come over to ours for dinner?’ She nodded, not looking too worried. That was one of us.

 

            By the time we get home, I’ve still not heard back from Amy. I’d tried her a couple of times, telling Shannon I was calling David to tell him I was bringing her home with me. I’d sent him a text. He still hasn’t replied. I hope it means he’s working late.

            That isn’t really my worry though, Amy is. Amy and Shannon. The longer I don’t hear back from Amy, the more worried I get. Luckily, Shannon seems ok. I guess because I was ok to pick her up, and sometimes I do, she doesn’t feel that worried. As long as we’ve heard from her by bedtime.

            ‘What do you want for dinner?’ I asked Shannon as we sat her in front of the TV. Only when I asked the question, I realised we probably didn’t have much in. It was Friday, I was due to go shopping tomorrow.

            ‘Can I –‘

            ‘How about I surprise you?’ I cut in. I didn’t want to disappoint her with not having what she wanted. She looked surprised, but nodded. She really was a good kid.

            Before I went to make dinner, or find something to make for dinner, I remembered she’d left a toy dog at ours last time she was there. I went to find it.

            ‘Hey Shannon, look what I’ve found.’ She didn’t turn round, but lifted her hand to her face, I realised she was wiping tears. I rushed over, pulling her into a tight hug. ‘What’s wrong girly?’

            ‘Where’s Mummy? I want my Mummy.’ I sat down, and pulled her on to my lap so I could rock her back and forth.

            ‘I know baby. I know.’ What else could I say? I didn’t know where she was, or when she’d be back. A small part of me was wondering if she’d even be back.

I’d love to hear what you think, just please, ignore the typos, grammar, and lack of editing. Words are more important today than editing 😉

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Fiction Friday – The Dark

The prompt from Write Anything for today’s Fiction Friday is –

A boy and his father awaken early to watch the sunrise from their mountain campsite, but they begin to panic when the sky remains dark long into the afternoon.

The first draft of my story which, along with the guidelines for Fiction Friday is completely unedited, is here –

 ‘Ok dad, We’ve had lunch now what?’

‘I don’t know son, I don’t know.’

‘Are you scared?’ Frank looked at his son and didn’t know what to say. Yes of course he was scared. The sun should’ve come up hours and hours ago, and it still wasn’t there. Toby was too ill to move yet and there was no phone signal or other people this far out. He was terrified. But he couldn’t tell Toby that. It was his first camping trip, he didn’t want to put him off for life. Although if the damn sun didn’t come up soon, he wasn’t sure there would be any more life.

‘Dad?’ Toby whispered.       

Frank ruffeled his son’s hair. ‘There’s nothing to worry about, this happens sometimes.’ He inwardly winced at the lie, but knew he had to keep Toby from getting too scared.

‘Why?’

‘No one really knows Tobe. Something about the sun spinning too fast round the world.’

‘You mean the earth spinning round the sun?’ Damn Toby for being so attentive in class.

‘Course yeah. Was just testing you. You passed.’ Toby wasn’t sure, but at eight he thought his dad was god – he’d believe him if he said anything – so he shrugged and pulled the sleeping bag further over his shoulders.

‘Are you cold again Tobe?’ He didn’t want to worry his dad too much so shook his head.

‘Nah I’m ok.’ He was a big boy, he wasn’t going to moan that he was cold on top of everything else. He couldn’t believe he’d got so ill they couldn’t move, couldn’t go home. He had to start feeling better soon. They had to find out his mum and sister Becky were ok. Although he and Becky argued constantly, right now he was so worried he’d never see her again. He had to get better so he could tell her he loves her. And where her Malibu Barbie was.

They fell into silence and after a while Frank fell into a fitful sleep. Dark shadows flew across his dreams, nasty echos and screams made him crouch and cover his ears, burry his head in his lap.

He woke suddenly feeling a bear pulling his arm.

‘Get off. Off!’ He shook his arm vicously before too late realising it was Toby on his arm. He knocked him off balance, but the boy was ok – better than ok, he was smiling.

‘Sorr…’ he started to say before Toby jumped up and knocked the wind out of him giving him a hug.

‘Look. Look Dad.’ He followed his son’s outstreched arm and nearly fainted with relief. Hardly visable in the distance behind him was a hint of a sun.

‘YES!’ he couldn’t help shouting and pulled Toby up so they danced round together.

Before they could stop their celebration dance they heard some clattering behind them. They stopped and looked between the trees where the noise was coming from.

A man was striding towards them followed by what was presumably his two sons. They both looked to be teenagers, but the excited chatter between them showed they were still young enough to enjoy a camping trip with their father.

‘See. See Tobes, I told you everything would be ok. There’s other people around, the sun’s coming up. You seem like you’re feeling better?’ Toby nodded his head and jigged a little to prove he was ok.

‘Morning campers!’ the father shouted towards them as his family got closer. Frank and Toby stayed rooted to the spot. Morning? He’d just said morning? But it was 5 in the afternoon.

‘Don’t mind if we join you do you? This is the best spot to watch the sun rise?’ Without waiting for a reply the father set his stuff to the right of their bags and fire. His sons followed swinging their bags happily.

‘How did you know the sun was going to rise now?’ Frank asked warily.

The father looked at his sons who laughed immediately at this.

‘Well, my man,’ he obviously was hiding his own laugh, ‘The sun rises every morning at five am in the summer.’ He looked back at his sons who had got over the joke and were now getting out the camp fire and food. He looked back at Frank and Toby and their stunned faces. For a second he looked puzzled, then he broke into raucous laughter.

Frank and Toby looked at each other while Frank but a hand on his son’s shoulder indicating him to take a discreet step back. They didn’t know this man, and he was acting a little mad. They had to be careful so near to the edge. 

‘Sorry, sorry,’ the man said, his laughter subsiding. ‘You don’t understand sorry. I’ve been where you are now, it’s just so funny to see someone else do it.’ Thoughts flew through Frank and Toby’s heads – where you are now? Do it? What? They took another step back in time with each other.

‘Let me guess,’ the father started, ‘You had a campfire last night?’ They both nodded. ‘And you used the wood from the forest behind us?’ They nodded again, Frank wondered where he was going with this. ‘You didn’t by any chance get some wood from that large tree over there? The one with the purple flowers?’ Frank looked at Toby, who nodded at them both. ‘I’m sorry to tell you then, you poisoned yourselves. The bark from that tree is highly toxic when burnt. Have you been ill?’ He asked just Toby.

Toby nodded again. Frank went white. He’d poisoned his son. Oh no, and he’d thought he’d just picked up a bug from school. Tracey would never forgive him.

‘Don’t worry. The toxins go out of your body within 24 hours. I bet you’re feeling better already aren’t you champ?’ Toby felt like a nodding dog he was repeating the movement so much.

‘But that doesn’t explain why you were laughing at us,’ Frank said. ‘You can’t think an eight year old boy getting sick is funny?’

‘No, no I don’t. But he’ll be fine. I was laughing at the other side effect of the toxic fumes. They knock you out totally. Even burning the smallest amount of wood will send you to sleep. Judging how much you’ve got there,’ he pointed to the dead fire behind them, ‘You burnt enough wood to send you to sleep for…’ he closed his eyes and flicked his head from left to right.

’22 hours!’ One of his sons shouted from their stove. No one had realised they were listening.

‘Yes. 22 hours. So you woke up at what you thought was 8am – I’m guessing you both have analogue watches? – but you’d actually woken up at 8pm. That’s why it was so dark.’

 Please, let me know what you think. I can’t wait to read other people’s stories, see if they had the same idea as me!

Fiction Friday #150 – Take Two – Stepping Through a Door

Last Friday there was a mix up of prompts for Fiction Friday from Write Anything.  On Friday I attempted one of the prompts, then today I thought I’d try the other. 

A child walks in to a resident haunted house and is transported to another time.

So, to be honest, I read it wrong.  Instead of reading Resident Hauted House I read it as Residental Home.  Yeah, I know.  I have no idea.  But I came up with an idea for that, and went with it…  (Oh and please remember, I follow the rules to the letter, and post this without editing, so please ignore the grammar and spelling and anything else that’s not great).

            Andy looked to his right as he felt his mum’s hand disappear from his grip.  She wasn’t there.  He looked behind them, but the huge wooden door slammed closed, missing his outstretched hand by centimetres. 

            Even before he tried the door knob he knew he wouldn’t be able to open it, it was much too heavy for a six year old.  Regardless he put his shoulder to the door and pushed will all his weight.  It didn’t move at all. 

            ‘Muuuuuummmmmm.’  He shouted pounding on the door.  He stopped for a second to hear her reply, but there was none.  ‘Muuuuuummmmmmmmmmy.  Heeeeeelp.’  He tried again.

            ‘Now what’s all this racket out here?’ a voice said from behind him causing him to jump out of his skin.  Slowly he turned round to see a lady wearing what he presumed to be a nursing outfit.  She was pretty.  Her hair was red like his auntie Kathy’s and even though he’d caught him making a lot of noise, she was smiling at him. 

            ‘I… My mum….’ Andy’s voice faded before he could even start talking. 

            ‘Got you too did it?’ she winked at him and started coming over, but only got a couple of steps before a figure darted in front of her. 

            ‘You know you’re not allowed to talk to them – and definitely not touch them.  Mary go back in there and finish the meds round.’  Mary tutted and rolled her eyes.  There was something familiar about her that made him smile again. 

            ‘Right young man.’  The figure that had darted in front of Mary turned out to be a scary looking woman.  She was tall, as tall as Andy’s dad, with long thin arms and legs.  She reminded Andy of one of those gross bean things his mum always tried to make him eat… runner beans.  Just she wasn’t green. 

            ‘Who are you here to see?’  She asked inspecting him. 

            He turned back to the door to see if his mum had followed.  He was scared to talk to the bean lady, but there was something in her voice that assured him she’d make him talk. 

            ‘I’m here with my mum.’ He started.

            ‘Speak up young man, I can hardly hear you’ bean lady boomed at him.  Andy cleared his throat the way he’d see adults to in films and started again.

            ‘I’m here with my mum.’

            ‘I didn’t ask who you’re with did I?  Well?  Did I?’  He shook his heard furiously. ‘I’ll ask again then.  Who are you here to see?’

            By this point Andy was really scared.  Where was his mum?  He wanted to look at the door again, but was scared Bean Lady might tell him off.  He cleared his throat again.

            ‘We’re visiting my Mum’s great aunt Betty.’

            ‘No no.’ Bean Lady made a flickling action with her hand.  ‘That’s who your mum is there to see.’  She flicked her read to the right indicating to a closed door at the side of the room.  ‘Who are YOU here to see.’

            Andy was puzzled.  That was who he was here to see.  He didn’t have an answer for her.

            ‘Ok.  I can tell this isn’t going to be easy.  IS this your first time here?’

            Andy scratched his head while he thought about it.  He remembered going to visit Great Aunty Betty a while ago, but looking round the room, he definitely didn’t remember this room.

            ‘No.’  He replied after a while. Bean Lady sighed. 

            ‘Ok.  What’s your name?’

            ‘Andy.’

            ‘Andy what?’

            ‘Andy Grant.’

            ‘Oh.  Mr Grant.  You’re over there.’ She pointed to an open door to the right that Andy hadn’t noticed before.  ‘That’s you sat by the fire with your back to us.’

Do do do.  Hmmmm.  I wonder what’s going to happen next…  Well, that’s in my head, I don’t have time to write it today, so I think I’ll probably do it tomorrow and post it then.  Wooh, three bits of fiction from one Fiction Friday. 

I find all comments helpful and motivating, so please, let me know what you think… and if you’ll come back tomorrow to find out what’s happening to Andy…