I finally decided to do Snippets of Story. Hope you guys enjoy! I’ve posted a few things from my other works-in-progress, too. Enjoy!
Elizabeth sat and watched [a couple] dance, trying not to wish she occupied the dance floor, too. Suddenly, a young man sat next to her and she nearly jumped in surprise.
“A thousand apologies, Miss Lizzie.” He nodded towards the dancers. “Not dancin’?”
“She got sick at th’ last minute and still insisted I come.”
– Overcoming Her Pride
Oh, and one more thing! I need your help. My opening of TJCRW is in desperate need of your services. (Why I said that in a Scottish accent in my head, I have no idea! Wait…. Never mind.) Anyway, it’s not the best of openings. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a little boring or hard to understand or what – I started with action, too!
The opening scene is below. (It’s the State Ice Dancing competition, by the way, and my character in first person’s name is Nikki.)
Yes!! I’m not kidding! It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for…. (Well, not that one… heehee…. That one is coming soon. Patience, my young padawans….)
Keep in mind that these are only excerpts. I had Arwen proof-read all of them (making sure they’re good enough for all of my fellow writers…), and she was like, “Wow, this novel skips around a lot!” “They’re excerpts, girly.” “Oh.”
So here it is – proof that I actually wrote something in June! : )
“Now… please welcome… Alec and Nikki Scott!”
The crowd started roaring with applause and I glanced at Alec, who cracked his knuckles and looked at me with a hint of a smile on his face. He reached his hand out towards me and I took it with a nervous smile.
“First place and the winners of one thousand dollars and the admittance to nationals goes to…”
I took another deep breath and squeezed Alec’s hand. I could barely keep myself from bouncing up and down on the ice.
“The brother-sister couple…!”
I gasped, my heart beating as fast as the applause that drowned out the rest of the announcement. I couldn’t say anything – my jaw just dropped. Alec wrapped his arms around my waist, picked me up, and spun me around, skating in circles on the ice. He put me down a few minutes later, gave me a big hug, and we skated to the center of the rink. Alec let go of my hand and I skated forward a few steps and curtsied, so low that I nearly touched the ice, then turned and held my hand out toward Alec, who bowed and grabbed my hand and bowed again with me.
Whoever was manning the sound turned up the announcer’s microphone. “Alec Scott and Nikki Scott!” blasted over the speakers. I grinned, watching the crowd stand up and keep applauding for us.
I glanced over at Kylie and Liam, the second-place couple, and motioned for them to come, then to Matt and Julie, the third-place couple. Both couples skated towards us and we all grabbed hands and bowed together a few times. The applause didn’t die down until all seventeen couples were out of the rink, Alec and I last. I turned and waved a little, then ran into the locker room, almost giddy with excitement.
[After doing a run-through of their new routine….]
“That was pretty good, Nick,” he said, holding out his hand.
I grabbed it and we bowed, then I skated in wide circles. “Thanks, but I didn’t think it was that great.” I put my hands on my hips, thinking, then looked up at him. “We have to practice more.”
Alec shook his head. “Nick, we have seven weeks. If it’s going this well only a week into practice, who knows how good we’ll be in January?”
I skated towards him, stopping only inches from his face. “If we practice.”
“Come on, Nikki!” Natalie [who was sitting in the bleachers] called. “My dad wants me home by ten!”
“Coming, Nat!” I yelled, waving my hand in her direction. I looked Alec in the eye. “Alec, we don’t have an instructor.”
Alec laughed haughtily and I glared at him. “Nick, you don’t have to tell me that. I know.”
“Yeah, but you don’t act like it. Do you think we’ll be as good this year at nationals as we were last year? Mom helped us last year, but she’s not here-”
“I know!” He took a deep breath and let it out. I could tell that he was trying not to get mad at me in front of his girlfriend. “I know, Nikki. If we just work hard and practice, we’ll be as good or better than we were last year. Maybe even get ranked.”
“Yeah – work hard. Practice.” Alec started skating towards the door and I followed him. “Alec, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you!”
Alec spun around and I jerked back and nearly slipped on the ice. “Just stop it, Nikki. The conversation’s over.”
I huffed and folded my arms, rolling my eyes. He just ignored me and stepped out of the rink.
‘One happy family.’
Alec started bouncing on the board and I crossed my arms. “I’m waiting…”
He started chuckling a little nervously. “Um, turn around. Let me do it once to make sure I remember and then I’ll show you.”
I laughed and turned around. “Whatever.”
“And close your eyes! You can see in the reflection of the glass, can’t you?”
“Not really…” I closed my eyes anyway.
I heard him take a few deep breaths and let them out, then the diving board creak as he bounced on it again. Then, I heard him jump off. A little whooshing for a minute, then a sound that made my heart nearly stop – a smack against something.
‘That can’t be right!’ I thought, panicking and spinning around.
At first, I couldn’t see anything. Alec had already dived into the pool and sunk a few feet.
Willing my heart to slow back down, I walked to the edge of the pool. I gasped. The water had taken on a hint of a pinkish color… and Alec still didn’t come up.
“Alec!” I screamed.
“Are you okay?” I asked, leaning in towards his face. “How do you feel?”
“Weird,” Alec mumbled.
His voice was really hoarse, but I smiled, just happy that I was hearing him talk at last. He slowly lifted his hand up and rubbed the bandage on his forehead.
“My head feels weird….”
“I’m sorry.” I stood. “Kate’ll be here in a minute. She’s the nurse.” I smiled and tried to blink away the happy tears that I felt coming. I sat down again, not wanting to leave Alec. “I’m so glad you’ve woken up so fast. I know this is crazy, but maybe we can still dance at nationals in January! Would you like to do that?”
Alec slowly frowned, confusion plainly on his face. “Dance?”
I looked up at Dylan to see what he thought. His thoughts were pretty clear as far as I was concerned. “Wait.”
Dylan leaned back and ran his fingers through his hair. I looked down at my salad, trying not to watch. ‘Just like Alec….’
“He’s got amnesia?” Dylan continued, shock plainly written on his face. “From a swimming accident?”
I nodded. “Yeah.”
Dylan let out a deep breath. “Whoa.”
I nodded again. “That just about sums it up.”
“It’s so weird!” I said, almost laughing. “I really want him to remember everything, but… not how he treated me or how or why he was so mean to me. Not anything like that.” I looked at her. “Do you think he will?”
“Probably.”I took a deep breath. “Do you think he’ll treat me the same way when he does remember?”
Nat shrugged. “I have no idea. But this is what you need to do while he’s remembering – try to rebuild your relationship with him. Pretend you have amnesia, too, and can’t remember the mean things he said to you. Pretend it never happened. Take the blessing God’s given you and run with it.”
So! What’d you think?
PS: Oh, and be sure to check back on Tuesday for my interview with author Amy Dashwood!
*jumps up and down, first attempting Scottish dancing, then doing a Mr. Collins jig, then ending with the sprinkler*
Acknowledgements!! Let me just shout out a HUGE thank you to Anne-girl. Without her cheering me on for the whole month with her awesome blog posts and frequent words of encouragement, I don’t think I would have been able to do it! And a big thank you to one of my good friends, ‘Elinor.’ She called me on the phone a few days ago when I had ten thousand words left and was such an encouragement! Thank you both!!!
Also, to my fellow Crusaders… YOU CAN DO IT!! Look, I just did it. Isn’t that proof enough that if little old me did it, you can, too?!
Last night, I had about four thousand words left. I had to work in the morning, but I plopped down at my desk the first chance I got and wrote like an insane person until we had to leave for my aunt and uncle’s house. Fortunately, they live about an hour away. Heehee… I wrote until we got there… then a few minutes more… and charged my laptop up at their house. (I told my mom that I would seriously wound myself if I left it there. Like, tears and everything….)
So then, today, I got up and started writing as soon as I could. I took a break after I’d gotten seventeen hundred words done and found myself out on the back porch. I laughed and said to myself, “I’m grilling hamburgers I’ve made… from scratch… outside on the grill… all by me onesies… while I’m taking a break from writing a fifty-thousand word novel.” I flipped over a burger and grinned. “All in a day’s work.” (Sorry about the major story going on there…. Hey. I’ve been writing all month. Your point is?)
When I started out this month, I missed the first four days because I was studying for my SAT and then was gone all day Sunday. I started Monday, the fourth, and sat down at the computer, a little depressed that I’d missed so much writing time. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it. I mean, a fifty thousand word novel in less than a month?! Come on!! Yes, I’m homeschooled, but I didn’t think I was that capable of doing it!
NaNoWriMo has been described as a dragon by a few people I know. I didn’t doubt them for a minute. “Me? Slay a DRAGON?!” But, as I went though the month, I discovered that it was more of a journey with some of my best friends, working alongside them to slay this dragon. I’ve met a lot of new people on the way – both in the real world on blogs and in the ‘real world’ inside my head.
During the month of June, I did a lot of brainstorming and a lot of praying and asking God to help me get it done and be glorified in my novel. (I think that’s what’s really helped me get it done!) The other day, I wondered if I’d be able to do it. It’s a DRAGON, for the sake of Pete!!! But then I remembered one of the last scenes in Return of the King, when Eowyn has to fight the Witch King all by herself. I decided that was what the NaNo dragon looked like, making me feel like it was too long and too hard and taunting me, saying, “No man can slay me!” I just smiled, pulled out my imaginary sword and said, “I am no man!!!” and slayed the dragon. I still can’t believe it.
I guess that officially makes me one of those weird writer people, right? (Love you all, by the way!!) To which I say, “BRING IT ON!!!”
PS: Oh, and if anyone cares… my novel is only half done. I’m looking at another fifty thousand words to finish, but I’m really excited about it!
PPS: Thank you for your patience. Camp NaNoWriMo has taken up my entire month and I’m really surprised at myself for being able to get any blog posts done!! All of the blog posts I’ve promised you are coming up – including the rest of the Les Miz experience posts (it’s like July and I saw it in April. Golly Pete… Sorry, y’all…), my excerpts, and the final days of Camp Grandma-Honey. : D
PPPS: I’ve tried to fix the font size on this post a few times, but it’s all whacked out. Silly Blogger….. Soary… : P
This tag looks like a fun one!! Anne gave me questions to ask my characters, and they’re going to answer. (Let’s see how crazy this gets….)
I’m going to do this with my two main characters (yes, you CAN have two main characters – “I believe I just did.”), Nikki (15) and Alec (17).
(FYI, they’re brother and sister. Clearing up a little boyfriend/girlfriend rumor that’s going around…..)
Do you want a hug?
Nikki: Yes, please. All of this nonsense you’ve put us through has made me feel in need of a hug!
Alec: You? Hug… me? A writer hugging a character?! Talk about weird… I think four thousand words in three hours made you a little… um…. Oh, look, a shiny quarter!
Do you have any kids?
Nikki: No way!
Alec: Silly girl. You should know – you invented me.
Me: Heehee… that’s true…
Have you killed anyone?
Nikki: No… unless hating counts…
Me: I don’t think that’s what Anne-girl meant.
Nikki: Then no. And I don’t plan on it. Even though I feel like seriously wounding Liam and Kylie…
Me: Watch it, Nick. Alec?
Alec: Nope. Next question.
Nikki: Besides Alec and Dad? No. Although… you’ve made Dylan start being friends with me and that’s totally weird.
Me: I’ll make him leave for a Christmas vacation.
Alec: That’s a personal question.
Me: I already know who you love.
Alec: That’s because you’re the writer. Duh!
What is your job?
Nikki: Oh, great. Um, I don’t have a job. I’m a sister and a competitive ice dancer… very competitive.
Me: Oh, really? I didn’t know that.
Nikki: Just wait til Nationals. *rubs hands gleefully* Liam and Kylie are in for it.
Me: I can’t wait! Maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow…. Alec?
Alec: My job? I don’t have a job, either. I’m Nikki’s brother.
What are you going to do when this tag is over?
Nikki: I think you had me going to Natalie’s house. Or… um… something else. I was talking to Kate.
Me: Yeah, you were. No idea what you’re doing next.
Nikki: Oh, great. That’s just perfect. So I have to decide for myself?
Me: That’s about it. Yeah.
Nikki: Then I’ll take a nap.
Alec: I’m going to talk to Dylan. (Purple shotguns, heehee…)
Me: You can’t talk about purple shotguns yet! That’s later! With Nikki, remember?
Alec: How am I supposed to remember it if it’s later?!
Me: Good point.
What is your greatest fear?
Nikki: Personal much?!
Me: Well, it’s on the list! Be a good girl and answer, please.
Nikki: Ugh, fine. My greatest fear is that *whispers* Alec won’t remember something.
Me: I know what she’s talking about, and you’re not supposed to… yet. Your greatest fear?
Alec: That I won’t be able to remember anything.
Me: You’ll remember.
Alec: Really? Ooh, goody – spoilers direct from the author!
Nikki: Oh, shush!! Don’t tell him any more! Next question!
What do you think of your parents?
Nikki: I love Dad a lot, and I loved Mom a lot. Didn’t I just tell Kylie how much she meant to me?
Me: Yeah. That was good. *high five* You, Alec?
Alec: Well, at this point in my life, I have no idea who my parents are. (No idea who I am, actually.) So I can’t really say what I think of them.
Me: This is a sad question. Thanks for making me tear up. Moving on.
Alec: Um…. Didn’t you say that you were my sister?
Alec: Then we’re siblings.
Nikki: Um…. *runs to a mirror*
Alec: What about it?
Me: What color are your eyes? Don’t be difficult, Alec.
Alec: Who’s being difficult? I’m just asking. Goodness. I always thought that my eyes were red, but I think they’re green.
Me: No, they’re not. They’re brown. Nikki, yours are blue.
Nikki: *comes back* Okay, thanks.
Are you good or bad?
Nikki: I have my good moments, and I have my bad moments. I’m a sinner saved by the grace of God.
Me: Good answer! Alec?
Alec: Uh…. From what I gather from Nikki’s conversations with Natalie that I’ve read –
Alec: – I was mostly bad. But I’m working on myself. Being good and all.
Nikki: He’s more like the old Alec now… and that’s great.
Nikki: Winter. I can practice on ice better than I can on roller-skates.
Alec: I don’t know. Summer, I guess?
Who’s your best friend?
Nikki: Natalie Fraser. Hands down.
Me: Did you know that she was named after Hadley Fraser?
Nikki: You’re weird. Been watching too much of the 25th Phantom?
Me: No. Well…. I think I named Natalie right after I found out that Hadley was in the 25th Les Miserables. *coughs*
Alec: That’s disgusting. I thought you liked Sir Percy!
Me: Who I like is of NO concern to you. (Although you are correct – Sir Percy is farther up on my heroes list than Hadley because Hadley isn’t a hero. He just has a really good voice and does an amazing Raoul and a deep Grantaire. Moving on.) Who’s your best friend?
Alec: I’ve recently discovered that Dylan was my best friend. (Unless Allie counts….)
Me: No, she doesn’t.
Nikki: I love ice dancing. And watching period drama films – you discovered that a few days ago. (Beating carpets?)
Alec: I don’t know what I like, heehee, so I’ll just say that I’ve liked reading whatever book I’m reading right now. You never named it, did you?
Me: Uh, no…. Wait!! The List by Robert Whitlow.
Alec: Oh, yeah! It’s good. Intense and suspenseful – isn’t that what I said?
Do you care what others think of you?
Nikki: Yeah. More than I should, probably. I’m an introvert, and that probably doesn’t help much.
Alec: Sort of. Right now I’m just trying to figure out what I think of me.
Was this interview fun?
Nikki: Yeah, I guess so. It was a good break from all of that nonsense you’ve put me through.
Me: Deepest apologies. Alec?
Alec: *yawns* Yeah, but it’s made me tired. I’m ready to go home.
Nikki: Me, too. Can we go home now?
Me: Yeah, whenever I have time to write it.
Nikki: Good. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Alec: Me, neither. Hopefully I’ll remember soon….?
Me: We’ll see. I’ve been getting a little long-winded, heehee.
Wow, that was fun! Now for a little break before I start at it again. I just passed 35k this morning – woot! – and can’t wait to finish!
BUT! Due to some news my family got on Wednesday, I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish my novel in time. We might have to take a sudden, long trip. (Exciting, exciting!!!) Any prayer would be great and appreciated! I’ll have more news whenever I get more!
Before I answer these, let me just say….
AGHHHHH!!!!! PANIC!!!!! I’m not NEARLY done and we’re ALREADY at WEEK THREE!!! *pulls hair out* AGHHHH!!!!!
Okay. Whew. Thanks. Moving on…
1. What is your word count now?
18,021 words. Ouch… Well, I’m going to keep working at it and not let a little number like that get me down….
2. What is your favorite paragraph so far?
Ooh… good question. Hmm… I think I’m going to have to say this one, on page three. : )
(A little backstory…. My main character, Nikki, has just been talking to someone and her best friend, Natalie, is very surprised and can’t say a word.)
“What?” I asked. “Do I have something on my face?”
Natalie shook her head. “Dost mine eyes deceive me…?”
I rolled my eyes. “Nope.”
“You were actually talking to Dylan?! The cutest guy in school?!”
I folded my arms and nodded.
“And he talked to you?”
I nodded, then added, “Actually, he started the conversation.”
Natalie gasped and grabbed my arm. “I think I’m going to faint. Catch me, please.”
I rolled my eyes again. “Can I slap you, please?”
She smirked. “But it’s Dylan Bronson!”
3. When you are writing what is your favorite song to listen too? Not theme song for your book but favorite song for while you’re writing?
Song? Oh, my dear gracious, I don’t think I can pick a song. I think the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack is what I’m writing to the most. Very good writing music, that!
4. Do you love your villains or do you relish hating them?
I have two villains… well, three, but the third one doesn’t really count… Anyway, I really like them. I’m the one who loves the bad guys, remember? : )
5. What was your very first piece of free writing?
Oh, my stars… please don’t ask. Fine. I’ll tell you. The Greatest Adventure of the Summer. *blushes* It was a short story (five pages, to be exact) that I submitted *blushes again* to the American Girl Magazine for a contest. It’s about this girl whose father is the president and has to ransom him after he’s been kidnapped. With a grand total of $35 people. Not $35 million, just flat out $35. (An enormous sum of money when I was only ten, you guys!) I can’t believe I actually submitted it… I’ll have to type it up some day (spelling and grammar errors included) and post a little of it. It’ll be like Jane Austen’s Love and Freindship (sic). (If you guys haven’t read that, look it up. It is SOOO funny!)
6. What was your first completed piece of fiction?
Another juvenilia. The Christmas Wish, a short story that was completed when I was 12. It was about a girl whose mom and sisters die in a car crash right before Christmas and her dad gets remarried a while later. I forget most of it, and nothing will convince me to read it again for a while!!
7. What are some of the plot bunnies that you are being teased with right now?
Ooh, plot bunnies! Yay. Not so embarrassing… : ) Let me see… Well, I have a few novels started, but one actual official plot bunny is about a guy and a girl… I don’t have all of it right now. I’m also aching to start writing Aaron’s Journey again, but that won’t happen for a while – at least, not until I convince myself that I can write from a guy’s perspective again. : P
8. What is your strategy for writers block?
What’s that? Seriously, there is no such thing as writer’s block. (So I’ve heard…) My solution is to just re-read the past thousand words you’ve written and delete what you think has gotten you into a hole. I thought I had writer’s block a while ago, but I just asked myself what the focus of the chapter was and went on from there. (Also… I thought I had it this morning, but I realized it was time for a new chapter, so I skipped over to the next exciting part! Easy peasy, squeeze the lemon!)
9. If you could meet one famous author which one would you pick?
Wayne Thomas Batson or Robert Whitlow. *sigh* To think, I actually lived twenty minutes away from the latter at one point in my life…. *sigh* (Them, or the Baroness Orczy…. *sigh*)
10. Who is your favorite secondary character so far?
Natalie. : ) See the above paragraph. She’s so much fun to write! She’s so happy and bubbly, too. Ooh, and Dylan. : ) I really like writing him, too. (Alec isn’t a secondary character, or else I’d pick him!)
Well, that’s all! I’m thinking of posting excerpts… what say ye?
EDIT: Okay, so after I posted this I ran upstairs and started writing. After a slow start, I finally hit my stride and…
*cue Jurassic Park theme or Chariots of Fire theme or something big and awesome and monumentous (not a word, I know…)*
I just passed 20,000 words!!! WAHOO!!! There’s a light at the end of this tunnel!
INTO THE FIRE!!! (After a Little Dorrit break… watching it with my younger siblings – their first time… *rubs hands gleefully*)