Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just Keep Swimming! (The sharks are vegans.)

What I'm Listening To: Emilie Autumn - Swallow

What I'm Doing: Writing!

Jess (first, may I call you that? XD Never even thought about it until now) posted excerpts from her novels and WIPs, and also mentioned that she'd never read anything I've written (except the 'first lines' I posted a few days ago) and it decided me to post excerpts of my own. (In one case, there's an entire first chapter; the first original story that I posted anywhere, based off of RP-born characters, dating from 2oo2. IT'S BAD. REALLY, REALLY BAD. I'm posting it here to show that YES, PRACTICE MAKES IT BETTER.)

Sorrow of Memory, from my high school days. (It was either late sophomore year or early junior year. Probably sophomore.)

Perfect excerpt:
The first time Allison Scotts turned on her television and saw herself on the news, she’d just come home after leaving the scene of a murder.
The silence of her spacious condo pressed in on her, broken only by the rain thumping against the windows, and she turned the t.v. on for noise. Gradually, the reporter’s voice cut through the wall of apathy in her mind, and as she realised they were talking about her – indirectly of course, because no one could possibly connect a well-to-do heiress to such horrific crimes – she laughed.
”The police are calling it the work of a deranged mind, and are investigating the motives behind such a brutal killing. The name of the victim has not yet been released, and we are all confident that the killer will be caught.”
Ally tugged the scrunchie out of her hair and peeled her wet clothes off as she made her way towards the luxurious bathroom at the back of the suite, the details of the crime she’d just committed pushing their way out of her mind in favour of recalling the details of the murder still being reported by the bleached-blonde twit on the news. She poured herself a drink, and set the tub to filling itself, adding some bubbles as an afterthought.
At twenty seven, Ally was the poster-child for the Rich Bitch stereotype. She’d never worked a day in her life, and had attended parties that made Paris Hilton’s exploits look tame by comparison.


Eversong excerpt:
She was dreaming. It was a familiar dream, one she’d had several times over the course of the last month, and it was always the same – the dark haired man, the tall forests, and a massive city rising above the trees. She was reaching towards him, and just before their hands met, he crumpled to the ground, and she woke up.
Blinking the sleep from her eyes, she flinched away from the sunlight streaming through the open blinds in her bedroom window, and for a moment couldn’t think of where she was. Seconds later, memory reasserted itself, and she recalled that she’d finished college a month ago – as hard to believe as that was – and had moved temporarily back in with her parents while she found a full-time job, and got back on her feet from spending the last four years in a dorm. Her alarm began blaring out it’s message, set to her favourite song in the world, Unchained Melody. Her room-mates had always made fun of her for waking up to such a soft, pleasant song, but she’d always told them that it beat waking up to something harsh and demanding.
“Vicky! You awake yet?” It was her father, the only man, as she’d said since she was five years old, that she’d ever need in her life. “Vick?”
“Coming daddy,” she hollered back down at him, and slid out of the comforting warmth of her bed, shaking off the remnants of the strange dream. In the notebook she kept beside her bed, she jotted down a single line: had that dream again...


Mischief and Murder excerpt:
My name is Riley, and I’m a rat. A really old rat, or so my grandkids say, but I’ve also got a really old memory. Not that it doesn’t work – oh no, my memories are as clear as the day they were made. None of us who lived through that hellish time were ever the same again, not really, but none of us ever forgot. It was the beginning of my sixteenth summer when the bottom fell out of my life, and my world was changed forever. This is where my story starts.


“Riley! Front and center!”
The young rat heard his father’s call, and dropped the flower he had been admiring, scurrying back towards the house. It was never a good idea to ignore Balthasar in one of his militaristic moods, something Riley had learned early and never forgotten. As one of the eldest members of Riley’s mischief, his family group, Balthasar had always had special treatment, had always demanded special treatment, especially from members of his immediate family. Riley’s mother Garnet had learned to deal with his various peculiarities quietly, but Riley himself had always resented Balthasar’s special place.
It’s not like he’s a military rat any more, he thought spitefully. Why should we have to suffer because he grew up in a cage? They were a familiar refrain, one he repeated to himself every time Balthasar had some new demand to make of them. Briefly, he wished he was made of sterner stuff, that he was brave like Corin, or strong like Bowen, and could safely break away from the mischief with a few friends, and start his own mischief somewhere else.


The thing I'd like everyone to keep in mind about the last three (the first thing I linked to can be forgotten utterly, and I'd prefer if you did) is that they're just first drafts.

The final drafts, upon completion, will be better. Not perfect, because I'm of the opinion that once you create something 'perfect' you're finished as an artist or author. But better. Definitely.

And there you have it, me at my worst.


  1. Yes, Jess is good w/me. You tell me what you prefer--omi/amy/amber, b/c I'm not picky. :)

    1) I'm at work so I had to read through it quickly, but w/respect to Sorrow: I actually really love the image you put in my head in the first 2 lines--2 sisters, huddled in their crumbling home, very young and terrified, clinging to false promises of one of the sisters. And when one was taken, it broke my heart. I think you definitely have a start to something there. I will admit, their names were so very confusing to me--not b/c of them being uncomming, but b/c of them both being so similar. I had to keep looking back to see who was who and who was taken and who was not. I was confused by the change to the character "Phantom," but part of that is b/c my brain is on shut down mode from spending the last 3 hours in court.

    2) Perfect: ahh, a rich bitch. Who would suspect her? Love that, especially if she's killing at random, eliminating people w/no relation to her (or perhaps she has a method, but it still would be quite difficult to connect it back to her, who knows ...) I love that in the first 250 or so words, we already know she's committed 2 murders. And she loves it ... which means more are coming. I found the last paragraph a little jarring/out of place, and I don't think you need it--I'd rather see her do things, like step into her huge bathrub, put on a cashmere robe, chat on the phone to her bubbleheaded friends ... things like that to show me that she's a paris hilton-type. But nice start. You could have something there.

    See next post for the rest, b/c it cut me off at some measly 4, 096 characters. Lame!

  2. 3)Eversong: love love love the dream. What a great way to let everyone know off the bat: this is no ordinary girl; great things are coming for her. I also love the first line of her diary entry. I stumbled a little in the second paragraph--not b/c I don't like the information, b/c I think it's great and makes her relatable to other struggling twenty-somethings, but b/c ... I'm not sure. Maybe just a little lengthy or something? You pulled me back in at paragraph 3 when you introduced her father. I can tell they're close, and I like it. I also like that you automatically show how independent she is: she has her father, and he is the only man she needs in her life. Which leads me to believe she certainly doesn't fall over hand in foot and need someone else to complete her. She can do all of that on her own, thankyouverymuch. Nice start, and I already get the sense that i'm going to like this Vicky (hell, I definitely like her music!)

    4)Michief and Murder: I have to be honest--if I picked up the back cover and saw that it was a book about some old rat, I'd probably either (a) say what? weird, not my thing, or (b) say huh? that's strange. let's see what it's all about. If (a), I'd stick it back on the shelf. If (b), I'd open it and be thrilled to file such an intriguing intro paragraph. I would probably be thinking, "Okay ... so is this really about a rat? And if so, are we talking teenage mutant ninja turtle-sized rat (whatever his name was), or tiny, run-the-sewer-type-of-rat?" The point is, though, that I would be thinking. And I don't like my questions to go unanswered. So I would read to the next paragraph. So long as the transition to his sixteenth year hooked me, I'd be a rat fan ... and it does. I love the scream to Riley in the second paragraph. I love that he has to put down the flower he's admiring (although I'm left to picture, again, what size rat are we talking here?), b/c it lets me know that Riley is the type of person who stops to smell the roses (metaphorically and literally, perhaps) ... or stops to eat the roses, which I suppose is a possibility. (What the heck do rats eat?) And OMGF, I laughed out loud at the military rat reference. Riley seems comical, and his story like a coming-of-age bit that people (yes, real people) can relate to. Who hasn't felt inadequate compared to other friends or family at some point in time? I can't wait to see what Riley does to become "special," and the title leads itself to that suspense.

    If this is you at your worst (and by worst, I mean in first draft form), then I'm quite impressed. I'd definitely read more, especially if I had a good intro combined with a nice back cover to tell me a little bit about where all of the characters are headed. (fyi: I think Riley's intro paragraph could also serve as a nice snippet for a back cover, but that's just me ...)

    No time to proofread as I have to get back to court now, so I hope it all makes sense.

    (I commented back after your comment on my swimming blog, fyi. Don't think I can include the link in the comment section, though ...)