Onmywaytobeauty's Blog

My Book… | January 20, 2010

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a novel since I was a little girl, and in the past few weeks, I’ve finally sat down and taken some notes and written out a plot and have made some pretty good progress.  It’s about a little girl who gets put into a group home after her father brutally kills her mother.  She doesn’t speak.  She gets put into the foster care system for several years before she finds the right family that wants to love her forever.  This is a segment from the book, more accurately a dream that the 5-year old main character has.

I had been smaller, and in a house I didn’t remember ever being in. It wasn’t the illustrous house that I was now staying in, and it wasn’t the old, dilapidated group home that was the first home I ever remembered. I was in the living room of a strange, shabby house, dimly lit and poorly maintained. Fadded floral wall paper was peeling from the walls, and there were water stains on the ceiling, the paint bubbling in places. I was hiding behind a faded yellow couch, and it smelled like stale beer and sweat. I cowered in the darkness behind the couch with my knees pulled up to my chest, my arms wrapped tightly around my legs. I stared at the back of the couch, but I knew what I would see if it weren’t there. He would be standing over her, her body curled up on the floor in the fetal position, and his feet would be delivering blows to her body, her head, her legs. Her hands and arms would be trying to protect her face, and she would be bleeding. I tried to hold back the sobs that tried to break through my lips, but a whimper escaped, and I clamped a hand over my mouth, a new wave of panic overtaking me. His angry shouts were silenced at the sound of my whimper, and I heard his heavy boots crossing the hardwood floor toward my hiding place. The couch disappeared from in front of me, and his massive form cast a new, eerie shadow over my quaking form. I could feel the bruises already beginning to form when his enormous hands gripped the tops of my arms, his fingers wrapping all the way around easily. He picked me up to make me eye-level with him. If they weren’t so angry and bloodshot, he would have had beautiful blue eyes, but they were terrifying in their ferocity. Dark brows pulled down tightly over them. His breath smelled of beer, his clothes of sweat. He glared at me, my body hanging limply from his hands, and I tried not to burst into a new round of tears and sobs. I avoided looking into his eyes; my head was bowed so low, my chin was touching my chest. He shook me so that my head was jerked back and I closed my eyes to keep from looking into his. He was shouting at me, but the words slurred together and I couldn’t understand him. He shook me again, then dropped me to the floor. Pain shot through my leg when I landed, and I held back my scream, seeming to know that it would only make things worse. I watched as his right foot left the ground; it swung back and started coming toward me with alarming speed and force. There was no way I could get out of the way in time. Suddenly, something heavy dropped on top of me, just in time to absorb the blows of his heavy boot. It took me a moment to realize that she’d covered me with her own body. This protection seemed to enrage him even more, and the kicks came harder and faster. She never made a sound, except to try to sooth my whimpers with a quiet “sh”. And then it stopped; first her soothing, and then, after another minute, the earth-shaking kicks. Everything was silent. I heard his heavy boots cross the hardwood floor, then the rickety door creaked open and slammed shut. A truck engine roared to life, and tires squealed out of the driveway. He was gone. I tried to shake her, to get her to let me up. She’d gone limp on top of me and was getting very heavy; it was hard to breath. She didn’t budge. I wriggled and shimmied, the pain in my leg excruciating, unitl I was out from under her heavy body, and then I looked at her face. In the dream, it was the face of Jessica, her light brown eyes staring blankly, the life gone out of them, blood covering her face, dripping from her mouth. More blood from her head puddling on the floor. My subconscious knew that she was my mother. That’s when the screaming started.”

I would love any feedback!  I know it’s just a small portion, but whatever you have for me would be greatly appreciated.  I’m a big fan of imagery, so if it’s too much, let me know!

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6 Comments »

  1. very powerful stuff. Good scene.

    1 question and 1 comment

    How old is the narrator in this telling? Some of the language might be too elaborate if it is a youngster doing the telling, if it is an adult looking back, then it fits.

    As far as a comment, I would suggest a little tighter, shorter sentences in some spots to get the feel of more angst. For example:

    “He picked me up to make me eye-level with him. If they weren’t so angry and bloodshot, he would have had beautiful blue eyes, but they were terrifying in their ferocity. ” might be better like this:

    “He picked me up to make me eye-level with him. If they weren’t so angry and bloodshot, he would have had beautiful blue eyes. but they were terrifying in their ferocity.

    Let the reader contemplate the duality rather than point it out.

    Great piece though. I enjoyed it very much.

    Comment by Nathan H. — January 20, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

    • Thanks for the feedback! Lizzy, the main character, is older and looking back… at the time of the dream she is 5 years old. I’ve been told on occasion that I can be a little wordy, and I’m very into details. Sometimes too much. Thanks for the constructive criticism!

      Comment by onmywaytobeauty — January 20, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

  2. I’ve been told on occasion that I can be a little wordy, and I’m very into details.

    its all a matter of personal taste. As a writer you should write like you want, and take all critique with a grain of salt. One person’s preference will be different from another’s. Keep working at it! 🙂

    Comment by Nathan H. — January 20, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

  3. Very poetic descriptions, sometimes on the border of long winded, but due to the scene it fits. It builds up the suspense.
    I wouldn’t mind seeing some more.
    So far you seem to have a keen eye for the psychological side of the human nature. But only the continuation of that story can say anything about that. *hint hint* ^^

    If you like reading fantasy, then take a glance at my blog: http://avidgoldfield.wordpress.com/

    Comment by avidgoldfield — January 20, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

  4. I’ve been toying with the idea of changing it from a first-person narrative to 3rd person. I just can’t decide. I think it sounds too mature for a 5-year old in some places. And since I’ve only just started chapter 7, now would be the time to make the decison, since it would be so much more work to change it when I’m done.

    Comment by onmywaytobeauty — January 24, 2010 @ 12:43 am

    • I think that writing it from a 3d person perspective is probably more suitable when the main character is a child. At least when the child is that young too. But that’s just what I thing.

      Comment by avidgoldfield — January 24, 2010 @ 12:56 am


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