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Posts tagged ‘novella’

WeWriWa: Into the Sun

This is my first time joining in with the Weekend Writing Warriors. I usually post with the WiPPet group on Wednesdays, but figured I’d join in with this one, too. Here, I’ll be sharing from a project I’ve been working on over weekends since about April. Into the Sun started as a short story, but it’s looking like it may be more of a novella. I have 9 sentences for my initiation post from pretty close to the beginning of it.

“Trace,” she called out to me, “you don’t have to do this.” But, I did. She knew I did. “Your father-” My head jerked up at that one, finally looking at her. Another day, the anxiety in her eyes, the fading bruise on her cheek, the way she hung back would have made me want to comfort her. “Don’t call him that. Don’t you ever dare call him that again, Mom.” “He raised you,” she insisted, her gaze darting out into the yard before coming back to me.

I wanted to share the next line, but that’d break the rules. So, come back next week, and hopefully I’ll share it with you. Also, thinking of merging this and my Sunday RoW80 check-ins(with the check-in after the excerpt, of course). Or wondering if I should just keep them separate. Any opinions on that?

Novella or Novel

This morning, I finally finished the WiP I started back in September of last year. It took me a total of 188 days to finish it. But, I actually only wrote on 66 of those days. Which is not normal for me. I only spent 35% of the last six months writing this WiP. The novel I worked on from May-August I spent 72% of the time writing(83 out of 116 days). And the oneĀ  wrote for last year’s NaNoWriMo(and finished in December), was 84%(42 out of 49 days). So, that shows how much more I’ve struggled with this one. And I think I know the reason why. Fear. Mostly that I’m going to totally screw it up, particularly details involving the fire department. Which is such a big part of my life, with being married to a fire fighter. I didn’t want to get anything wrong, so I was afraid to write anything it seemed. I forgot what I’ve always told myself, just get it down and it can be fixed later. I usually don’t worry about all the details so much in the first draft. But, because of this fear , there were a couple times when I put it aside and wasn’t sure if I’d even finish it. So, just finishing the first draft is a victory for me.

But, now that is is finished, I have a decision to make. It came in at 55,502 words. Most of mine are between 80-90,000. It’s too long to really be considered a novella. But, it’s really pretty short for a novel. So, I need to decide if I can cut at least 10k from it and still leave the story whole, or if there’s somewhere I can add like another 20k. Of course, I’m not going to start editing it right away. I’ll let it sit for about a month before I look at it again. Get some distance from it. But, I’d still like to know going in which direction I’m going to take it. I guess I still have some time to figure it out though.

 

Tidbit Thursday: Stained Snow Blurb

I figured since I am just about done with this round of edits on my novella and will be on a search for Beta Readers for it, today I would post the page summary I wrote up during plotting.

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When rancher, and sometimes deputy sheriff, William Jensen, returns home from taking a bank robber to trial, he cannot believe what he finds. His wife and son are dead and his home had been burnt to the ground. He does not have to wonder who is responsible for this. After burying his family, he starts searching for the man, his own brother.

He quickly catches up to his brother and is wounded in the resulting confrontation. He is taken in by a fellow rancher and his daughter, Alice, who tries to offer more than just a warm place to stay. Until she learns he is Thomas’s brother and plans to kill him if he can’t take him in. William learns his brother has all ready been there and had told his own tale of what happened.

As William heals, his resolve to bring the man who killed his family to justice only strengthens. He’s sure by now, his brother will think he’s gotten away with it, and knowing his usual haunts, it won’t be difficult to find him. He starts out one morning, leaving Alice in tears, but is turned back when a blizzard strikes.

William has to wait out the blizzard at the ranch and steer clear of Alice’s advances while trying not to hurt her. He cannot even imagine having someone in his life after losing the wife he loved. But, by the time he is able to leave a second time, he feels as if he is leaving a part of himself behind.

As he closes in on his brother, he begins to wonder if either of them will survive this search for justice. And even if he does, will life be worth living with his family gone and his mission complete? Or can he let someone else in and give meaning to it again?

Tidbit Thursday: Stained Snow Excerpt

This is an excerpt from my novella that I am currently editing. It is from the beginning of Chapter 2 and the protagonist, William Jensen has just left town heading back to his ranch after being gone for about a week.

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William stopped beside the stream that he knew meant he had less than an hour to go until he was home again. Even though he was eager to be home, he let the horse have a few minutes to drink from the stream and pull up some grass to eat. While he waited, he pulled out some jerked meat to chew on. It was not much of a meal, but he just needed something to hold him over until he would get a home cooked meal again.

When William figured the horse had enough rest, he swung back up into the saddle. “We’re almost there,” he murmured and kept repeating it as if it was the only think keeping him going. As if he felt his rider’s excitement, the horse picked up his pace. But, as he rode through the gate of his ranch, William yanked on the reins, bringing the horse to a quick stop.

“No.” The single syllable was a strangled sound in his throat that barely made it across his lips.

The house he’d been looking forward to getting back to no longer existed. Smoke still rose from the ashes of what he had called home for just over half a decade. “Anna. David,” he breathed the names of his family. Had they been there when the fire started? He hoped not. But with a lead weight in the pit of his stomach, he started the horse forward. “Please, God, please let them not be here.”

The horse pulled up several yards from the house, stamping the ground and snorting as he threw his head from side to side. William knew the smoke and the smell left over from the fire made him nervous. He slid from the saddle and rubbed a hand along the horse’s neck. “It’s all right, Boy. Stay here. I’ll check it out.”

He left the horse standing there and made his way closer to the house. As the acrid smell of smoke and burnt wood started to overwhelm him, he pulled the bandanna he wore around his neck up over his mouth and nose. And he told himself that the tears pooling in his eyes was from that smoke and not the fear of what he would find as he started through the rubble of what had once been his home.

Tuesday Short: Stained Snow Synopsis

You may have noticed that I changed the name of Tuesday’s posts. I did that because I may not always have a flash fiction piece to share(like today), and I’m not going to rush to write one just so I will. And I don’t just want to skip a day because then that may become a habit. so, instead I decided that Tuesdays will be either for flash fiction, or a short excerpt or synopsis of what I’m working on. So, I decided today to share the synopsis of the novella I’m working on now, Stained Snow. This idea was inspired by a piece of flash fiction I wrote last year.

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William Jensen is a rancher and sometimes deputy sheriff who is eager to get home to his family after taking a bank robber to his trial. He gets held up on the trail by weather and other circumstances. Before heading back to the ranch, he stops in town to visit the grave of his stepfather, who was recently killed.

But when he does return home, he finds his family dead and his house burnt to the ground. He does not have to wonder about who is responsible for this, he knows. After burying his family, he goes in search of the man, his own brother. He soon catches up to him, wounded is taken in by a fellow rancher and his daughter. As he spends time with them, he starts to have feelings for this young woman, which weigh him down with guilt for the wife he has just buried. And when he learns his brother has all ready been there and told his own story, he sees his chances of a new life shattered before it could start. When William regains his strength, he starts on the trail again, only to be turned back by a blizzard.

Now, as he closes in on his brother, he wonders if either of them will survive his search for justice. And even if he does, will life be worth living without his family to return to? Can he face that lonely existence once his mission is complete? Or will he be able to let someone else in and give meaning to life again?

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