Tag Archives: creative writing

Wandering in my mind (Wimm) 1

I am watching the mass of people that have gathered here today expecting something new and unique to show them.  They are watching me with patient curiosity as to where I will take them today, the man who is slightly balding in his mid-forties is grinning with anticipation and scratching gently his wrist around his watch and the beautiful auburn young lady in her early twenties beams at me and clasps her hands in front of her.  I shan’t disappoint them, or the many others besides.

There is an icy chill in the air, a large bonfire crackles in the moonlight behind me and I turn to it to add another log to the fire, a scent of lavender fills the air as a beautiful blond lady in blue silks and a medieval gown throws a large bundle of lavender into the fire.  We sit down, this lady and I, upon felled wood and I play upon a pear wood recorder as she begins to recite a poem sang in beautiful Latin about the coming of snow, it is a haunting piece which fills the gathered audience with solemn peace and nostalgia, though they don’t audibly understand the words she is singing, they can understand it by the lilt and chill of her voice along with the biting of the air around them.  The young lady with auburn hair is almost overcome by the power of the ladies voice and others take in deep sighs and close their eyes as they soak in the night air.

Men dressed in blue velvet and silver medieval court clothes pass around toasted vanilla flavoured marshmallows to the audience, a taste of warm sweet snow, a great paradox to the subject of the song.  The marshmallows fill the audience with hope of warmer climes to come, a glimpse that it shan’t be forever cold, that tonight is just an interim and those come and go quickly.

 

 

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Stifled writing and a look into my brain! (WARNING – it is not for the faint-hearted)

People who write can often get bogged down with the concept of finding that great idea which will earn them money and quite often when they do this, they lose themselves and in some cases, even lose the love for writing itself.

I am at fault of doing this as much as anyone, particularly in the past five years, this is because financially I am suffering to the extent that birthdays and Christmases have been disappointing and not as traditional as I am accustomed to.  In fact recently I found an old Christmas shopping list, which included food, presents, games and décor and basic normal food to last for two weeks over the festive period so we can focus on more family time and that list was five pages long with two sections on each page; this year it was only 3 pages long with only one section as when I write in an excited state, my letters get bigger than my usual handwriting – which is a bizarre idiosyncrasy that I have.  My lists are quite methodical, I will list food from Tesco, Food from ASDA and food from other places separately within the list; I will list where to buy certain presents too and for whom, which shops, so we kind of plan a shopping map in our minds whenever we go to town.  Along with this list will be a separate length of what kinds of decorations or traditional Christmas stuff we need, such as crackers from B&M and purple bauble at Wilko, you get the idea?  We usually do a massive buffet on an old pasting table in our living room and fill it to the brim with food and drinks as well as the coffee table, because Christmas Eve is the only time in the year where we can guarantee an influx of visitors and we like to feed them – this year it is a no go and I am embarrassed that this may come across as too inhospitable compared to what they are used to, as everyone usually got a bag of food to take with them either for snacks at home that night or jars of homemade stuff, which we just can’t afford to do this year.

I hate pleading poverty, but lately it is getting me to a state of breaking down.  I went for advice on my ESA benefits two weeks ago to a lady who is very kind and runs a charity, I was so embarrassed detailing my struggles to her as she was helping me fill out the forms that I was shaking and my teeth were chattering so badly with the humiliation of it all.  She thought I was freezing cold, but I told her, it’s just that I am so embarrassed by it all and she said that it was OK, but it really isn’t though is it?

Usually I am very good at being calm and self-composed, despite anxiety issues, but lately I just can’t keep it together, I am struggling to hide behind a façade like my normal self would.  Most people can’t tell that I have anxiety issues because I masked it so well, but lately I break out in tears over the smallest of things and what is worse is that I am getting short tempered with it, with people I feel are cold or unfeeling and I have this awful feeling that I will say something out of character at my next medical which will make me lose the benefit.  I am very scared about it.

If I could get a job I would, but no one is going to employ someone with the health issues I have.  I did struggle a few years to get a job, before it got too bad seven years ago.  All of this makes me try to push myself to create something just to get out of this mess, but it isn’t working, it is stunting my creative growth badly because I am not writing what I really want anymore.  I am writing the lesser ideas I have which are the most popular amongst my nearest and dearest and unfortunately what I love to write about, they hate immensely.

What I like writing about are dystopian stories similar to Mad Max, I am Legend and Tank Girl.  I enjoy writing about vampires and their sired offspring as I call them and histories as a massive saga dating back to the Ancient Sumerians and contemporary times too, how they live and how they lost loved ones.  I enjoy writing inane pun infested comedy fantasies where you meet mermaids and trolls with a very Monty Python meets Discworld air to them and I enjoy writing horror that touches taboo subjects.

According to those who are in the know, the only type of book up there I have mentioned that they can barely stomach is the comedy fantasy, not my main love of in depth vampire soap operas and dystopian tribal warfare.

Yes I love my fantasy comedies, but whenever I discuss my writing with those who are privy to them, they always get more excited about any updates on that genre than anything else and I feel if I don’t write this genre more than the others, I am failing to please this specific audience.  I am one of these people who find it really hard to talk to people about my work, those I do are precious to my motivation, if I don’t talk about my work, I can’t do the work.  But unfortunately my discussion circle seems far too niche and not entirely me.

I used to mix and mingle my genres a lot and had a wider circle I trusted to talk about them to, usually as dinner party discussions but since moving to Warwickshire, I don’t have that anymore.  London is a very different place, with very different people with mind-sets very different to Rugby’s.

I have mentioned vampires and horror to people up here I thought I could trust with my writing, but they recoil or give sideways glances to those next to them and simply state “Oh, right, not my cup of tea really”; Then I share my fantasy comedy ideas and they feel that fantasy is strictly for children, surely I should write something nicer for them?  Not drunken elves and mermaids who rip eyes out and swear profusely with such corny puns as well!

Apparently my personality must reflect my work and because I don’t lark around like some tomfool jokester all the time and I seem a pretty calm deadpan person in real life, I can’t be taken seriously in comedy surely?  Won’t I come across as some kind of fake?

Now that hurts, but it has been said to me before and I find it amusing that comedy must be serious… really?  I wonder how we all laugh at serious comedy!  Should we laugh at flippant tragedy then?  I don’t know what kind of world I have tripped into a hole of, but it is certainly quite different here to where I am from, I can tell you!

I think if I was to walk up to my favourite British comedian of today and say “Darling, you are not taking your comedy seriously” he would choke laughing and crying at how stupid that sounds.

*passes a dictionary to said people and points to the word “comedy” for reference*

So, though I am currently in quandary over my work, my main quander is this – “how can I develop a trusting relationship with people online so that they can become my beta readers and I can learn to trust the online community with my plans and outlines”? 

I’m not sure I can.  I am very protective of what I share with people because I have often had entire ideas stolen and published behind my back and that someone became very successful with my ideas and have not produced work since I eliminated them from my social circle a decade ago.

I have thought that maybe signing up to a free creative writing course with the OU would help me discuss work and improve my skills with an online tutor?  But not sure if that is really what I want – improved skills are always good, but not sure if I want straight laced professional opinions which are bias regardless of genre and content.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking about just writing whatever, whenever and go back to my scatty ways that were long lost a decade ago.  Paul tried to organise me too much I think?  Tried to get me to focus too much that I lost my way; I don’t really have a way.  I am higgledy-piggledy and mentally a mess when creating.  Paul often said if a hypnotist was to delve into my mind for just five minutes he would run out of the room screaming “get me out here, she is completely insane, she is such a mess, she is so confusing, help me, help me…. And oh, pass the paracetamol that gave me a headache!”

Why the drama?  Because I will have seven documents up at the same time, one is a horror about a cat, two are vampire novels concentrating on two entirely different characters, one is a comedy fantasy with tiny people, and one is a dystopian story based on a religious concept of the apocalypse and angels, the other document is writing notes to eventually put into any work in the future, along with research papers and notes, scribbled papers and notes off the computer, and Wikipedia up on the internet with another internet page looking for the history of Thracian warfare.  If that is not enough, I am also meddling with playlists on Amazon music flipping through them depending on which scene and novel I am working on in those few seconds, whilst daydreaming about food and what it might be like if I was the size of a peanut in my garden.

You get the idea?  That’s my brain in just five minutes.

I am like the dog who is in the garden playing fetch with you then all of a sudden I have ran away chasing squirrels, then coming back to you wondering where the ball is and oh look sausages!

With a mind like mine, it has been said by people before – is there any reason to wonder if I will ever find it possible to get anything finished?

I pass them some books I have indeed already finished and I do so quite proudly.  Then I announce, they are not for sale, they are not edited and they are not good enough.  The person looks through them, finds they do indeed need editing but are absolutely wonderful, why not publish them? 

Because they are mine!  Then I grab the books and hug them close to me with a snarl!

I am like this even with the art I paint too.

Thing is, there are ideas I do want to sell.  But I am scared that those private stories reveal too much about my inner workings.

I feel psychologically exposed, basically.  It brings about the kind of feeling in which I can only sit back and think, it would be better to be physically nakedly exposed than that, then Paul tells me to stop being weird and dramatic!

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Prison of a dark pearl

Blackness descends all around me

Clothing me in the shadows of darkness

How dark can it get?

Darker than dark

I am hidden from the world

Hidden within the prison of a dark pearl

They keep me safe, but blind, concealed alone

Clasped within the hands of the damned

I am at their mercy

For at any time, the pearl can drop and break

As can my soul

When shall I at last wake?

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Daily Prompt 5

Today’s prompt – Dragon – Clarinet – Alien – Fear – Pineapple

I had an interesting passing thought with this one today, but I am trying to ignore it as I am too busy with other writing projects at the moment.

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Sunday word count 1

I will try to remember every Sunday to post up my weekly word count towards novels and short stories I am working on. 

This past week I have added words towards one short story and three novels. This is not including writing down ideas of new stories I have planned, nor is it including research notes, blog posts, poetry or anything else – just novels and short stories.  The word count is not spectacular, but I am working on improving it.

The grand total this week is….

5679 words

Disappointing huh? 

Well here comes the excuses; this is actually a slow week for me because I haven’t done much writing this week at all in comparison to my normal writing week.  Why?

My desktop computer monitor decided to die on me for two days.

I don’t cope well with the heat, prone to heat stroke and breathing problems.

My son is off from school for the next six weeks, so my writing count is usually cut by half on school holidays.

I have been reading and researching more.

I have been learning about make-up application and have been addicted to watching Nabela Noor and Jeffree Star on YouTube, I discovered them last week.  When I gave up being Goth around 15yrs ago I never really learned how to use make up and never wore make up since and I am getting to the point I need coverage, ha-ha.

So there are the excuses, I only watch an hour of YouTube a day this past week, so it’s not stealing that much from me in regards to writing time, considering I rarely watch TV, so TV is rarely a distraction for me – I tend to watch programs whilst writing, programs that doesn’t need me to look at the screen too much such as The Proms, radio channels, or the occasional glimpse at nature documentaries such as David Attenborough or the Spring Watch team.  I lose my hearing too much at random times, so I have learned not to make my life revolve (or is it evolve?) around TV, because I often have to use subtitles and get to hear virtually nothing a lot of the time anyway.  So I have learned to be a reader/writer/researcher, unless my eyes go on me, then I am going to be OK regarding entertainment.

It is because my hearing levels are so random from one day to the next, that I can no longer keep my secretarial and classroom assistant jobs that I used to have.  Hearing loss is a big bother because I can’t do much independently regarding going to a doctor and hearing them, I need someone with me who can interpret via lip syncing to tell me what the doctor has just said, it is even worse when dealing with things on a confidential front such as banking, particularly telephone banking when online banking goes wrong – you have no idea how many companies out there do not accept a speaker on a deaf persons behalf, I am only glad I am not a deaf mute, because then I would seriously have problems.  I often have to try and talk to someone I can’t hear on a phone, hoping my husband or someone else can interpret for me as long as I give them verbal permission over the phone, my goodness, I feel for the mutes.  Especially as three years ago I had a throat infection that lead into the ears that was so bad I had laryngitis for 4 months solid, so I have experienced temporary muteness and I did have a banking problem then, that I couldn’t solve until I could speak, 6 weeks to get a fraudulent act on my online payments sorted out, because I could not voice that I gave my husband permission to handle it over the phone for me!  For 6 weeks my account was blocked because I could not verify that I gave permission, I am only thankful that my account doesn’t pay any major bills.

Well anyway, going back onto my writing I could have written a lot more if it weren’t for the interruptions, I would say as much as 16k more words and I don’t expect my word count to be beyond 10k a week whilst the school holidays are here.  I do most of my writing in the living room on a desktop computer and my son rarely leaves the room and is often loudly shouting about his robots in the robot wars arena he has made on the carpet and his robot wars videos he watched on YouTube overtakes the music I put on to get me into the mood for writing fiction.  It is easier to write poetry and research and make research notes or further synopsis’s of new stories than it is to write towards novels or short stories for competitions during the day.  Most of my writing at the holidays happens between 11pm and 1am, but Henry is suffering from some emotional issues right now which mean that my days can be very challenging and tiring by the time night falls.

When the holidays are over I write sparsely throughout the day because of my ADD and therefore I can often get 3k words done on some days.  Well anyways, the future will show and tell if I can remember about Sundays.  You will see patterns of no writing at all some weeks, because I get health problems which mean I can’t even read a book at times, such as a chest infection with a running nose, where I am busy literally every single second trying to keep myself together and alive without choking.  Sad but true, I have an immunity issue that is much better since having a radical diet change but I still get long illnesses. 

Anyway, I will update my weekly word count towards short stories and novels every Sunday. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

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Prompt result 2

GOBLINS – MOON – FOREST – UNICORN – SWORD

These prompted for me a prominent story idea of which I can’t share here but they also prompted some lesser ideas which I am more comfortable in sharing.

The idea I won’t share will be written after my four current projects which will probably be started around Halloween. Meanwhile I can just keep adding to the idea in snippets every time a new thing comes to mind and keep adding this to its own special folder until I am ready to work it like a jigsaw puzzle and make it into something akin to a largish novel.  There is quite a bit to the plot already but I need to flesh it out in my mind before I start writing it all down from beginning to end.

Here are the ideas I am willing to share which will probably not be worked on, unless of course I could eventually post them as stories here.  Which is something I didn’t think of until now; I could do them as flash fictions.

  1. A goblin runs away from a lynch mob of humans as they believe he had something to do with the disappearance of a little girl in their village. He is so frightened that he runs away into a forest of which he is not familiar with as he is a mountain goblin, he finds a unicorn that befriends him and helps him find his way home again eventually.
  2. In fairyland there is a unicorn moon festival approaching where the annual migration of stampeding unicorns is seen throughout the whole of fairyland and all the fair folk gather for the festivities, however, the goblins are determined to stop the migration of the unicorns because it disturbs them and they endeavour to wreck and ruin the entire event.

Do remember to join in with these prompts and either post them below or link them in the comments below to your own blog page.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with these ideas yourselves, this is my way of trying to help exercise peoples brains to become more creative and to help get them out of their supposed blockages by giving them the tools to learn how to get out of it and do something.

Have fun!

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Prompt result 1

Today’s prompts were Mermaid – lightning – apple, blue and bird. 

For me the searches I had found prompted these following ideas.

  1. An electric eel mermaid from the deepest depths of the ocean is trying to prove to the other mermaids who live up higher than she does that because she comes from the darkest depths that she is not evil and dark by nature. Unfortunately she loses her temper trying to make the others see a different side to her that she accidentally electrocutes a prominent figure in the other mermaids’ society and she swims away, higher and higher until she gets to the surface of the ocean, where she befriends a blue sea bird. 
  2. A woman is trying to organise a mermaid theme birthday party for her daughter’s eighth birthday. Many trials and plenty of errors meant that it was a struggle for her to find mermaid theme food for her daughter, but she stumbles across a recipe for blue chocolate apples in edible glitter stuffed into an ice-cream cone and that saves the day! 
  3. A bird has magical powers of throwing out lightning from his beak befriends a beached and sick mermaid and he brings her apples to eat from the island she is beached on.

Now all of them are very good ideas for stories, whether they are flash fictions, short stories or full novels who knows what will happen with those story-lines?  I am not claiming these story-lines, I am merely demonstrating how easy it is to play with ideas with a few keyword prompts and how you can train your brain to do this in everything you experience day to day.

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Writers and non-writers

A lot of non-writing people think that when you say you are a writer you have had books published and you are successful and have a lot of money or you are a social recluse.

They imagine that I sit for three hours a day or more just tapping away from beginning to end the same novel day in and day out until it is finished and then post it to the nearest publisher and within a week or two I get a phone call about how great the novel is and how I should expect to join some top celebrity at some award ceremony somewhere and become a millionaire within a year. 

But this couldn’t be further from the truth unfortunately.

For me, writing is mostly planning, writing short snippets that doesn’t go anywhere and redoing work I have already done.  I don’t follow a set pattern to my work as my brain (as well as most other writers I know) doesn’t have an organised brain like that.  Also quite a lot of my time as a writer is spent imagining things freely without writing, because the thoughts sometimes come too fast that I simply cannot type or write fast enough!

I will think about my vampires one minute and do a paragraph there, then I am onto the mermaid story and do a few lines there, then my brain will give me an altogether different idea and I have to write three or four pages of the proposed plot down immediately before I forget it, then I have to edit the three chapters I finished last week as I felt in the mood for it.  That is the life of a writer – me!

A majority of my work will never see the light of day because I worry about its content.  Is it too violent?  Are the sexual scenes too graphic?  Is this touching a socially taboo area?  But I don’t stop writing them because it is a part of who I am, but it does mean that the public will never get the full and raw me and I don’t think that society ever does get that from any author anyway.

People who don’t write don’t understand that there is much more to writing than that and for a lot of people who do write, it is never about the money and it is never about the fame.  Take me for example; what spurs me on to write?  Originally what spurred me onto writing was the fact I enjoyed it too much not to do it – the second reason was that I hoped my stories would become movies.  I really do still hope for the latter.  But it is not a realistic dream yet.

I don’t intend to be a scriptwriter, which makes it all the more difficult.  I don’t like the idea of my privacy being invaded when I am out shopping as I can often suffer from anxieties in new places and having a famous face someday will just add to the stress for me.  But despite this, I love people and making them happy.  I wouldn’t be human if I said, I don’t want the money – but being rich from writing is also not realistic.

Which begs a question as to why I do it then?

I do it for the love of writing and the love of play.  I am a very playful and imaginative person who constantly lives in hope that there is always something better than this.  I believe if you don’t like to play and you find writing hard work and you want the money and the fame and you don’t believe there is something better than this then you are wasting your time.

I love entertaining people, I love being a hostess, I love sharing ideas with people, I am very much a people person by my very nature.  I have often thought about becoming a life coach or a creativity coach as a lot of people who know me describe me as a very motivating bubbly and uplifting person.  I don’t see why though.  Because to me I am a very pragmatic and often sharp person with people, particularly those I find who are ignorant and arrogant or both. 

Despite dreading fame for the having my face noticed in public and despite the fact that becoming famous through writing is probably a pipe dream, I do still fantasize about how happy I would be seeing how happy and excited strangers will be whenever they see me around.  But it scares me witless too, what lengths would some people go to in order to be near me?  It terrifies me.  But I am more than happy to be polite and friendly to any who come near and by me, entertain them as much as I can but I would just want to get on with my life, do the shopping, and spend time with my family out and about without such concerns.  I suppose I get the fear of the behaviour of fans from my mother, because my mother is the sort of fan who screams and charges at celebrities whenever she sees them – I couldn’t cope with that as I am a naturally jumpy person.

So instead of worrying about the good and the bad, I have decided to just let life happen to me.  If the universe thinks I should have that kind of life, let it happen and hope it’s all good.  Maybe I will somehow be protected from all that fuss – who knows?  All I want to do is write, entertain and have my brain poured out onto the TV screen eventually as good movies.  That’s all I really want.  If I was rich enough I would probably produce movies instead of books, not that it would be any faster quite the contrary, but the notion of working with a large team of people playing with the same dream would be absolutely fantastic.

Besides, with the people I am related to, doing this is in my blood by all accounts and I should fine fitting in with playful, imaginative people in that setting like a glove.  Let’s hope gran was right. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Casey’s Crown

There are some distant church bells chiming across the foggy moors, ghostly songs are being sung, songs of a thousand years.  Casey is chilled to the bone; her grey shredded shawl flaps clumsily around her, making her image seem fragmented in the distance.  The ghostly song soon turns into evil menacing laughter and in the distance, a carousel spins, the decorative horse eyes that surround the carousel in their beautiful jewels and golden poles are aglow.  A demonic voice beckons Casey to go forwards, towards the carousel, welcoming her to the fair, welcoming her to sights never seen before, welcoming her to yield to the desires of them from the unknown.

Tentatively she steps forwards towards them, compelled by their magic.  Her footsteps are soft and delicate like tiny faeries dancing on the petals of roses so softly that the petals are unharmed.  Casey soon notices that her grey and brown rags are changing, but she doesn’t care, she just carries on towards the demonic fair, tip toeing like a ballerina in jade silk slippers.  Her clothes are turning into beautiful jade and gold coloured silks and white laces, her muddy hands are transformed to the hands of a beautiful clean lady, her fingers slender and rich, her nails polished and long… she is not Casey any more, she doesn’t know who she is turning into, but the feeling is glorious.  The demons at the fair cannot be seen nor heard any more.  There is a strong looking soldier standing by the carousel on guard – but Casey is not sure of what he is guarding.  He salutes Casey and a fanfare then erupts around them, an unseen army is marching she senses, not far behind the carousel, playing a robust brass band as they go along. 

A smell of roses accentuates the air around her.  Then, in the clearing of the fog, as she walks around the carousel, she sees them, the marching brass band and their soldiers in tow of a beautiful gilded litter carriage.  Peering into the window of the litter carriage Casey saw a beautiful young woman, in a golden gown with jade jewels bestrewed around her, her hair is unseen for it is covered by a beautiful jade scarf.  The woman, of which Casey presumes to be a queen, waves her hand towards a man presumably a steward to open the carriage door.  He does so, he calls to the soldiers in the band to halt and abruptly the music stops and all is still.  The Queen descends her carriage gracefully and on tippy toes walks elegantly towards Casey and takes hold of her shoulders, smiling sweetly down at her.  She is a pretty lady, very sweet and tender looking, like a mother attending to her infant.  Slowly the Queen stands aside and gently pushes Casey towards the opened carriage door and placing her crown upon Casey’s head, then walks away from Casey, slowly turning into a rag ridden young urchin and disappearing into the fog.  Confused Casey stays looking back into the fog for the queen, tentatively feeling for her crown, it felt strange upon her.  

The above story is a shortened version of a novelization I am working on and have been working on since May 2017. 

I wanted it to be a series of horror books, because Casey will have adventures and will lead into adventures of new characters along the way.  The thing is, I am not sure how many books this will potentially be or whether or not they will ever be completed, so I felt that it would be relatively safe to post this up on the blog.

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1st draft vs 2nd draft

I would like to know as a reader which of the two opening paragraphs below makes you want to read more?

1.            The explosion could be heard for miles and the scent of smoke from the fading buildings tainted the air for days afterwards.  Maud, a nine year old little girl was found in the nearby cemetery, huddled by the cemetery wall shortly after it happened, she was discovered to be the daughter of the local priest, Father O’Hara and his wife Mildred O’Hara, they were killed in the blast and half the church had gone too. 

2.            Smoke and dust filled the air and sirens deafened all around.  Her eyes filled with tears as she saw her home being bombed by the unknown attackers of her city; a little girl no younger than nine was holding onto her ears with her eyes closed crouching by a tombstone in the local cemetery nearby.  It was an awful sight; it was an awful noise, much more awful for a little girl like Maud.  After a while somebody found her crouching there all alone.  They asked her name, they asked where she lived but all she could do was cry and point at the pile of smoking rubble that was her home.

This is based on the novel I was writing for NaNoWriMo, the first paragraph is the absolute first draft of this story, and the second paragraph is the revised second draft.

Would you keep either of the paragraphs or revise again?

A little information here, I never completed NaNoWriMo or this novel, the story is on hold until after Christmas.  I managed to write approximately 37,000 words towards this and I didn’t consider it to be a half way point. 

 

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