Monday, 18 January 2010


I know, I know, I was supposed to post last Wednesday. I had a whole post planned about books and stuff (Books like the one you can win in Race's contest here), but there have been wedding issues and an essay on the Victorians eating my time. If I can I shall post my bookness post this Wednesday and hopefully I'll post a teaser tomorrow, probably another exercise from my course.

time to go write more about the Subjection of Women...yay!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Teaser tuesday

This is a teaser with a difference. It's M6 looking back at her friendship with M4. I wrote it for one of my University assignments.

He startled me when he came in; I had not expected any of the others to be back so early. I remember staring at his tear stained face as he stood there, just as startled by my presence. Despite the tears; he was male and memories of stories flickered through my mind. I backed up, pressing myself against the worktop. He looked stronger than me, I knew I would have very little hope if he attempted anything so I just stood there, waiting.

He motioned to the cut on my head and asked, in such a soft voice that I thought he was afraid of me, if I would like some help to tend it. I said nothing but simply moved aside to reveal the medical kit I had out on the worktop. I studied him as he walked towards me and drew out a stool to sit down. He was taller than me, maybe only a year or two older. His hair, what little had grown back since it had been shaved off, was the colour of straw. And his eyes, years of staring into those eyes and I still get lost in them. His eyes where red with crying. Droplets of tears caught on his lashes and not yet brushed away kept my attention as he started to clean the cut. My fear began to fade.

I was surprised how gentle he was. His hands themselves were rough, as if he had worked outdoors before being brought here, but his touch was soft. He spoke in a low calming voice while he worked, cleaning and bandaging my head. He never did explain why he had been crying, or why he was back early. In the five years we shared I never once got an explanation for that. He asked how I had got my injury and I explained that I had answered one of the Officer’s questions using contractions. He simply nodded. The mark of a well trained slave is well trained speech.

He told me about the family he had lost, I asked him to take a look at a wound on my knee. It’s strange how friendships are formed. Even as the others piled in to prepare for bed we sat talking, exchanging small bits of information about ourselves and growing closer. We had both though we had left behind all hopes of friendship when we arrived here. Now we had each other.

I remember the last time I saw him, the rich family buying him to look after a dying relative. In five years our friendship and grown deeper and transformed into something we never expected. And there we were, only a few days after admitting our true feelings we were being pulled apart. He would go with this family and I would in turn be sold and sent somewhere else. It’s strange, looking back, to think I was so afraid of him at first and then grew to be so afraid of loosing him.

Tune in tomorrow when I'll be blogging about books and book give-aways (such as Race's at )

Monday, 4 January 2010

Shadows and roses

I have my final fiction course assignment due on the 29th and for it I've written a horror(ish) short (1500words - is that flash?) piece called Shadows. And to be quite honest, it sucks. The tense is all over the place, there is like 10 lines of telling to every 10 words of showing and my dialogue tags are all mixed up.

However, I gave this piece of mincemeat to a friend and he pointed out all the above problems (and more) and gave me advice on how to fix it (he even went so far as to re-write a section to use as an explanation) so now I know what went wrong, I can make it go write.

I also have an essay piece due on the 29th, the first draft of which was taking me ages until I got Shadows back. It was at that point I decided that it was just a first draft and I didn't care how it looked as long as it was written. Words came faster after that. It's still not done but that more a mark of me being lazy than anything else.

I have come to the conclusion that first drafts are written to suck. It's like when you plant rosebushes, you get the seed (your idea, plot points etc.) and you stick it in manure (your first draft), wait for a bit till it grows (step away from the keyboard for a bit) and then prune to a perfect looking rosebush (editing). You can still end up with issues of greenfly and such (plot holes, horrible sentences) but you can ask other gardeners (betas) for help finding them before you get it ready to enter competitions (submissions).

So I have given myself permission to write garbage and know that editing LATER will fix it, rather than stressing about it while writing the first draft. A first draft which, lets face it, I'll be editing later anyway. Your new years resolution should be the same, let your first draft suck, you can fix it later.