Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day 14 - An Excerpt

Today, I finally realized that I had to stop and hammer out the nature of an important secondary character.  This character drives an awful lot of the story, and I realize I'm much better off if her motives are understood from the start.  No need to find proof, or go into explanations at the end, if we understand her better right away.

I can be slow like that.  It's a lesson I learn in every story.  Mysteries are about what we know more than they are about what we don't know.

So now I'm  heading into what Dean Wesley Smith calls "cycling."  I'm going back to the beginning and making a run through the story.  I call it a "type-through," because I don't pitch out the whole previous draft.  I have it there for reference, and sometimes even cut and paste from the old version.

So for my "Today's Progress" report, I'll give you an excerpt, the opening page of the story:


Chapter 1 - The Past

In Flight cover concept
THAT NIGHT SO long ago, before she was Angela -- the night she became Angela -- she was awakened from sleep by her step-mother, June.

She liked to think of her step-mother as Mommy, because she didn't remember her own mother, and her father's new wife was so much fun that year that they all lived together in the big house.  But she wasn't supposed to call her Mommy.  She vaguely remembered that, though she didn't remember who objected.  She was supposed to call her "June."  June herself never objected.

Angela herself was then known as Lee Lee -- a childish version of Lily.  That was her name -- her real name; Lily VanWitt.

That night there was a storm.  Lee Lee loved storms and rain back then.  The sound was peaceful and constant.  She imagined an army of little mice -- for if she was a princess, then she should have an army of attendants -- drumming and pattering about.  That's what the rain sounded like to her; like a crowd of friends.  And in the distance the rumbles of thunder were grumpy bears, calling out instructions and orders to the kitchen staff.

Rainstorms were always the night before a grand birthday party.

But that one night, it was raining and she was sleeping, and her step mother work her up.

"I couldn't leave without saying good bye," she said.

Not sure I'm going to title the chapters in the end. If so, I'll have to come up with something better than "The Past."

In the meantime, I ate leftovers and didn't read or watch anything today.  Except Jon Stewart.  Going to read tonight.

See you in the funny papers.

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