Back to writing group tonight. The homework this week was to write a ‘hook’. I am supposed to make the reader irresistibly hooked within the first couple of sentences. The tutor told said to make it as shocking as we wanted.
I am being ever so brave and bringing in the first paragraph of my novel. I fiddled with it a bit today and swapped scenes around to have the reader jump straight into the action.
Wish me luck
Today’s Word-count: 142
First off my obligatory apology for not posting in forever! It has been a hell of a month.
Now onto better things. I joined a writing group! It’s literally about five minutes down the road from me and runs every week! Last weeks ‘Homework’ was to write a piece of about 200 on absolutely anything so long as it starts:
Don’t put it there…
I can’t actually make it to tonight’s session as it’s my husbands birthday and we’re staying in and watching some good Polygon videos. I did write my piece as it’s a good ol’ habit to get into. I shall share it with you kind people instead.
The Golden Library
‘Don’t put it there stupid child.’ The Librarian calls from atop her ladder. ‘They told me you were literate. I do not have time to teach you your letters’
‘I’m the best reader in my school. They just didn’t teach us any of that funny writing.’
‘Greek. What kind of school doesn’t teach Greek? Give it here,’ Mary lifts the great gilded tome, sharp corners scratching her arms. The woman takes its weight effortlessly. With a satisfied sigh she slots the book into place. The wall glistens, too many books to count shimmer in the half light. Mary had read all there was to read in in her school, but none of them with a hint of decoration, only faded black leather with simple embossed titles. Once, when she’d been blessed in the big church, she’d gotten a look at the old bible. Gold shone from the pages like sun on the water. Brightly painted figures danced in the borders with bold knowing smiles.
Mary traces her finger along indecipherable lettering. What treasures lay behind the leather?
‘You hear me child?’ a voice sharp and impatient. Mary snapped her hand away from the book
‘Mm?’ she replied before remembering her mother’s warning about mumbling.
‘Lordy they’ve sent me an imbecile.’ the Librarian clapped her hands against her apron, tutted, then slid from her perch with surprising grace. Placid grey eyes surveyed Mary. ‘I suppose that’s another thing I’ll be teaching you?’ despite the harsh gaze Mary felt a small thrill of excitement. A new world had opened up to her when she learnt to read. How many more worlds lay hidden behind gilded spines.
Today I wrote this piece as well as a post for my other blog Today I Made…
Total Word count: 582 words
Whether it’s a tempory high or a sign that this current haze of anxiety and depression is passing, my motivation is back with a vengeance. There are lists upon lists of things I want to write, make and fix.
One terrifying task looming on the horizon is the dreaded driving test. I am straddling the line between avoidance and obsessively worrying.
It’s been nearly a month since I wrote a post for this blog. In that time I have written a little but have mostly spent time planning and honing my skills with sentence structures and narrative arcs.
Back in May, I wrote a piece of Flash Fiction for Winchester Writers’ Prize. I had no luck with the competition but I’m relatively happy with it and decided to share it with you lovely people. The prize offered adjudication for an extra charge. I haven’t done any editing since the adjudication, though i do think the feedback is useful. I’ll include it at the bottom. Let me know what you think.
Court shoes cling with tacky insistence to rotting floorboards. Each breath brings the dank scent of mold. My toe catches on a bottle. It’s chime echoes about the hall a mockery of the music that once played. It comes to jarring halt against a piece of wood, blocking the stairway to the stage. One shaft of light reaches the raised platform. The glass ceiling all but boarded over,
‘What have they done to you?’ I place one gloved hand on the board. A sharp pain stabs my palm. A spot of blood pools about the splinter, staining white gloves.
‘Perfect. Just bloody perfect,’
A scraping noise resounds, I lift my head to see a girl skating towards the stage.
‘Were you talking to y’self? Only mad people talk to themselves’
‘Nonsense.’ I say pulling the splinter free.
‘S’what I heard,’ she shrugs and skates up the plyboard onto the stage.
‘Do your parents know you are here?’ The girl slides back down and circles me on her heels.
‘They split a year ago. Dad’s workin’ and Mum’s moved away,’ she scuffs the floor ‘It’s the only place I got to skate.’
‘It was an ice rink when i was young. Dottie and I would dance by candle light the stars and moon shining down upon us.’ I look up to the boarded ceiling ‘all the magic’s gone now she’s dead.’ I push back the pain in my throat. ‘You don’t want to hear stories from an old lady.’
‘I don’t mind.’
I look her up and down, she seems genuinely curious.
‘If that’s the case I have something to show you. Here help me move this’ the board moved easily with her help. I bend low, my light blue skirt skimming the floor. I pry open a floorboard, my gloves growing messy with sticky dust. The tin box stils, just where Dottie and I left it. I open it, inside lies a photograph and two pairs of leather ice skates.
‘This is Dottie.’ I says pointing to the woman on the left, laughter lines crease her eyes and curls fly forward on a gust of wind. A younger version of myself stares at Dottie, besotted.
‘You miss her’ the girl says, it’s not a question. ‘I miss my mum too, we used to skate here, when it was a roller disco.’ I press the photograph into my pocket and pull out the blades.
‘Watcha doin?’ The girl asks as I prop myself against the wall and pull on a pair of ice skates.
‘Here put these on.’ I toss the other pair to her
‘There’s no ice.’
The boards covering the windows slip away. Crystal clear light refracts onto white ice. The stage fills with ghostly musicians.
‘The magic never left this place after all.’
The girl slips and I skate to her side placing a firm arm under her back.
‘How did you-?’
‘I’m going to teach you how to really skate.’
The University of Winchester Writers’ Festival added a note.
Note: The interaction between the old woman and the girl is moving in parts – I believe the girl is genuinely interested at the end. The piece is unnecessarily confusing however — knowing where they are, that the narrator is an old woman, would improve the immediacy of the story. Be careful of grammatical mistakes — they also make the story difficult to comprehend. But some nice work here.
Today’s Wordcount: 475
p.s Grammar is a super difficult thing for me, dyslexia is a bitch