Saturday, November 5, 2011

NaNowriMo Update Day 5: An Excerpt (Yikes!)

A couple of people have asked to see an excerpt from my current NaNo so I thought I would share the same excerpt I have on the site.  Con Crit is always welcome (please remember it's a quickly written first draft).  My story concerns a woman who decides to reinvent her life and write her memoirs via different genres. Her goal is to rewrite them as happy endings, but that proves more difficult than she imagined as her life is filled with secrets and betrayals and even a possible murder. She begins with her childhood and chooses fantasy as the best way to share difficult memories in a way she can process.

My thought with choosing this for my NaNo story was that it would be fun to write four different genres in one story over the course of thirty days.  What it truly is, is a challenge. I started off trying to interweave the contemporary and the fantasy but have decided to write each individual story first and then wind in the main story throughout. I have no idea what I am doing. I am wracked with self doubt daily. But I'm trying to let go of the pressure and just have fun. NaNoWriMo is not just a writing exercise, it's a social exercise. I will enjoy my month of meeting new people with similar interests. And it's an exercise in making a goal and meeting it. Challenge accepted. I will prevail. GRIN.

And now onto the story...


The tree held me close inside its body, branches lowered like arms. From the outside, it appeared to be sheltering me, protecting me. But the truth was much darker. It was my prison, instructed by Millicent to hold me until she returned. If she returned. Sometimes I wondered if she would someday forget about those children she had imprisoned and we would be left to meld with the tree, our spirits combining forever, sentenced to carrying out her wishes for the future children. Prisoners imprisoning. 

These are the things I think about as I watch the snow fall, harsh against the barren landscape. These are the thoughts that keep me awake, that keep me from simply melting into the branches and giving up my spirit. I will not be under her control. I will not do the Malevolent’s bidding. I am stronger than that. 

At some point my body overtook my mind and I slept. I knew this because when I next opened my eyes, I was no longer alone. Nestled into the back of the hollow was a girl, younger than me, or so she appeared. Her hair was an odd shade of green, with a hint of yellow, like a leaf in spring when it has first reached its potential. It was an odd contrast to my own, the burnt orange of autumn and the last residue against the barrenness of winter. Her eyes were huge on her slight frame, a pale blue of summer skies and smooth seas. No wonder she had attracted Millicent’s wrath. Simply looking at her would be an affront to the winter witch. 

“Who are you?” she asked, her belligerent tone in direct contradiction to the tears that had frozen on her face.

“Autumn,” I replied, “and you must be Spring.”

“Summer actually,” she sat up as straight as she could against the back of the tree and stuck her chin out as she spoke, “people always seem to get that confused.”


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