I have finished my untitled piece. It is now with my beta reader, still untitled, being thoroughly picked apart, no doubt, which is good, I love that. The more I stared at it the more I was convinced of it’s smooth consistency and readability. Grammatical errors, what grammatical errors? I’m sure it will come back full of red marks and question marks because she couldn’t understand half of what I had said.
So where to now? I have a novel I’m more than three quarters of the way through, which was abandoned about six months ago because the finish eluded me. The story started from a dream, as most stories, I’m sure, do. I woke hungover from one significant point in the dream, which wouldn’t let me go. So I rummaged for pen and paper and started jotting down a loose outline of the first five chapters.
It took me a week to begin writing it, and when I did, the first five chapters had morphed into another story entirely, but with the same core element from the dream. I was off. More story emerged as I typed, which meant at some point along the way I had to back track and change key elements because I’d changed my mind about that line of a character or plot.
The story grew in a chaotic fashion until I reached the point I am now, and then nothing. I was stuck.
I’ve another five chapters planned but no finish and nothing on the horizon. Frustrating to say the least. But the time has come, I can feel it inside. This story wants an ending. I’ve lost touch with my characters and the plot, so I’m going to read back over what I have and see if any creativity materializes. Hopefully something, otherwise the story will be shelved again for perhaps another six months.
But I will share with you a snippet of a piece I have been rereading. CAUTION, WARNING, DISCLAIMER. I have not edited this story. Any horrible or embarrassing mistakes will not reflect on the final outcome.
I’m plonking you right in the middle of chapter 21, so you’ve missed a lot, but just try and keep up. Here goes:
He took my chin again with his fingers, holding my face steady so as too ensure he could enforce the seriousness of his words with his eyes.
“She may not be what you expect.”
“How bad is she?” The words came out faltered and weak.
“She lives in a world of her own. Nothing can penetrate her walls. She’s unaware of who she is, where she is, even her own existence. You’ll get no recognition from her. You won’t get anything from her.”
Again I released my chin from his gentle hold and stared at the ground. How did I feel about this? My whole life I’d never had a mother. She was a stranger to me, so I never expected to be choked by emotions at the thought of seeing her. All the same I had to see her. Hayden had planted a seed of doubt destroying everything I knew. I spun in a void of uncertainty worse than any black out. Where was my reality, my ground? Not at my feet. I had to see the woman who birthed me, who began this life now miserably out of control.This pilgrimage won’t solidify any meaning, but I needed to start at the beginning.
“I’ll be Okay.”
“You sure? We could leave now. You don’t have to go through with this.”
“No.” The violence in my reply startled us both. “I want to do this. It’s important to me. I think it may help clarify a lot.”
At this remark his eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly.
“Alia, how did you find out about your mother?”
I knew my revelation would spark this question. In fact, I’d been expecting him to drop it on me soon after I’d confronted him. I’d spent most of the night trying to come up with a plausible lie for how I’d discovered the secret, nothing good had eventuated from my sleepless night. In the end I decided I would refuse to answer. It was time I began exercising my newly discovered rebellious attitude.
“I’m not ready to tell you.”
And with that the doors slide open, something I couldn’t have timed better. I went to take advantage of my sudden freedom, but Samuel’s arm came up faster than my reaction had been, barring my exit.
“Remember Alia. This involves trust from both our sides if it’s going to work.”
“How about you remember that the next time you decide to withhold the truth from me.”
Wow, where did my steel come from. Honestly, sometimes the rapid flip of my personality frightened me. How much of me was I set to lose? But then, how much did I want to retain?
Samuel’s jaw clenched. I could see the tightness running along his jawline, his muscles twitching with tension. His face inched in. He spoke with a hissed whisper.
“You’re growing teeth Alia. And while I’ve never favored docility, mind you don’t grow them too sharp, or I might have to saw them off.”
The lash of his forked tongue, struck me with precision, injecting his venomous words through my veins. I had to quell all manner of uncomfortable emotions, heat rising to my face. My heart rate, which had missed a few beats when his arm first appeared, ran a race of its own. A knot formed in my throat threatening to suffocate my words. It was a threat, the first and probably not the last. Never should I forget who Samuel was— someone who up until a few weeks ago, I never would have questioned.
“I’m going to let this go for now, but when I ask you again, you’re going to tell me.”
In a mercurial twist he lowered his arm and flashed a smile.
“I think it’s time to see your mother.”