03 September 2010

A bit of bragging...everyone join in.

For the past couple of weeks, my writing life has felt like I'm slogging uphill, weights tied to my ankles while a hurricane rages and mud splatters up to my knees. I don't feel like I'm writing enough, what I do write feels like dreck and my characters are beginning to sound like two-year-olds: whine, whine, whine.

But while working on edits yesterday, I tripped over a couple of sentences that reminded me that, yes, I an do this. So I thought I'd share. The set-up: My hero is trying to find his runaway sister, Charlotte, who refuses to come live with him after their parents are killed in a car accident.
Tipping his head to one side, Nick rolled it slightly, feeling the slight pop of cartilage and bone in his neck. He rolled his head to the other side, then froze, trapped in a memory of his father doing the same. Grief rolled through him, a wave of want and anger that he had no idea how to manage. Bereavement was like Charlotte. He couldn't reason with it, anticipate it, or walk away from it.
All he could do was not let it rule him. 

I don't remember writing it, but I'll keep it.

Because these up and downs are simply part of a writer's life, I'm throwing this blog open to you. Please share a snippet that reminds you that you're a writer. I think we all need to brag a bit every now and then.


Bernadette said...

OK, I'll be brave. This started out as a drinking tea scene. It moved the story forward as the characters learned more about each other, but there was zero romantic tension. Here's part of the rewrite:

“If Papa learns you were here, he will confine me to the house.” Priscilla offered Alston the towel.

“You think your father would disapprove?” He weighed the towel in one hand. A corner of his mouth twisted, and his brows knit into a V.

She motioned to the rocker. “That chair is waterproof but hard. I thought to cushion it a bit. And yes, Papa would disapprove. You did not part well today. Or have you forgotten?”

He tossed the towel onto the rocker and stepped closer, one hand on the railing just inches from her hip. The afternoon heat spiked. The air grew honey-thick. “I must confess,” he said, “that from the moment you opened the shop door, thoughts of you have driven all others from my mind.”

The delicious rumble of his voice vibrated against her skin. A hot flush hit her cheeks. She dropped her gaze and backed away. The force spinning her head was more powerful than mere gravity and she clutched the railing, fighting for balance. “It is not chivalrous to tease a simple country girl, Mr. Buchanan.”

“I shall remember that if ever I meet one.” He moved even closer than before.

Tension spiked into anger. Though the air tingled with his nearness, she stood her ground. She would not be intimidated. Not in her own home. “I spoke of myself, sir.”

He chuckled. “You are anything but simple, Miss Chandler. Our discourse has been brief, but already I perceive that you are that most rare and precious of creatures.”

“Which is?” She twirled the gardenia’s stem between her fingers.

“A beautiful woman a man can count as his intellectual equal.”

She sucked in a breath. His scent flooded into her, as if she were breathing Alston Buchanan instead of air. Had he read her mind, her heart, her diary? She had written of her longing for a man who would embrace her intellect. And now, here was one who claimed to do just that.

He is teasing you. Her jaw clenched. Even in her limited experience, what men said to women and what they truly believed were seldom the same. Raising her head, she met his velvet-black eyes. “I have lived just long enough, Mr. Buchanan, to know that no man considers a woman his equal.”

Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks for posting, Bernie. I liked this scene when I first read it, but I love it now. I love the line, "The delicious rumble of his voice vibrated against her skin."

Bernadette said...

Thanks, Keena. I should have said that I loved your excerpt. That's the kind of deep character insight you do so beautifully. Your books always stop me in my tracks when I read one of these passages. And even though I can't wait to find out what happens next, I just have to stop, go back, reread, and take a moment to appreciate your skill. It's one I'd love to develop, but don't think I've even come close to achieving just yet.