Sunday, December 28, 2014

My new writing project!

Hello Y'all! I have recently dusted off an old storyline of mine and decided to give it my best shot at getting it all down on paper. If I manage to stick with it, it will be my first novel over 100,000 words and the start of a trilogy! We shall see if it all comes together . . . I really like the storyline, plot twists, and character arc, but then again, That's. A. Lot. Of. Writing. It will be my first project to strictly adhere to the "normal" structure most stories follow (I could try to explain it, but most of you who are not writers or filmmakers probably don't care. Structuring your Novel by K.M. Weiland explains it much better than I can anyway.) ;0)

The storyline would fall into the fantasy genre, minus the magic part of it. With the story, I really want to explore and parallel the battle between light and darkness in our world. Can't give much more of the storyline away . . . but think along the lines of your classic ordinary-guy-turned-hero plot with a twist, all set in an imaginative world of light and darkness. Oh, and then there is the inter-world warring. So kind of like Sci-fi too. It's going to be one adventure writing all this down! :0D The working title right now is The Land of the Luminents. But of course, that might change. (Any suggestions???) ;0)

I am 16,000 words into the story right now, and that's after I decided to change the narrative from third person to first person five chapters into it . . . O.o Please pray that if it is the Lord's will, He will help me be diligent in how I use my time to continue writing this story, and that I would glorify Him through it!

And in case anyone's interested, here's part of my first chapter! I am really having fun with my social worker character . . . (What? You don't think I love social workers?) ;0)

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Chapter 1
Uncle Jared and Aunt Marie


My journey through darkness and light began in the local social care office in Detroit, Michigan.

I was sitting there in a small sitting room, lost in the YA novel open in my lap, when a small man—my social worker, Calvin—bustled through the doorway. He was running his hand absent-mindedly through the few wisps of hair that clung to his shiny, nearly-bald head, and his squinty eyes settled on me as if he was looking at some monotonous chore. Which to him, I guess I was—just another moody, troublesome foster teen that he had to deal with.

“Pack your bags, Kenneth,” Calvin said abruptly. His voice always reminded me of the sound you hear when you turn a blender on full-speed—obnoxious and whiny. But I suppose that is beside the point.

I looked up from my book with calculated slowness. “Why?” I said simply.

 “I found you your new home.”

I stood up abruptly, and the book flew off my lap and thumped on the floor. “You found me a home?” I repeated, letting my voice trail off so as to make the statement sound like a question. That was another thing about Calvin. He wasn’t the best with details.

“Yes, more or less,” he replied. He squared his shoulders and stroked the little mustache on his upper lip as if the idea intrigued him. “I suppose the state should get the credit for your placement, as I work for them, but enough with technicalities. Grab your things and meet me at the car.”

Okay, so maybe he isn’t terrible with details. He just doesn’t know which ones are important.

It took me all of ten seconds to gather my things and head for the door. As a sixteen- year-old foster kid who had been bounced from home to home, I was used to being mobile. In fact, sometimes I hardly got to unpack my bags before I was on the move again.

 I plodded down the hallway of the office with the straps of two backpacks crisscrossed over my shoulders and chest. The packs themselves were bulging and bounced awkwardly against my ribs with each step. They contained all I owned. I pushed open a door on the far end of the hall and stepped outside, and the city smells of Detroit instantly declared war with my olfactory senses. My mustachioed social worker waved at me from the sidewalk, where his little red Geo Metro was parked. The fact that he took a strange sense of pride in the vehicle gives you a pretty accurate picture of his overall character. Inflated would be the best description, I guess.

After depositing my bags in the trunk of Calvin’s non-descript car, I circled around to the front passenger seat and plopped down inside, slamming the door shut with a loud bang.

“Hey, respect the car,” Calvin grunted as he started the engine. “Seatbelt.”

I buckled myself in, and the little man beside me punched the Geo Metro in gear and pulled out on the street. He began to weave his way through the suburbs of Detroit, heading for the freeway.

“Is it a long ways away?” I asked after a moment, turning my gaze from the window to Calvin, then back to the window.

 “I guess you could say that,” Calvin replied. “A road trip, more like. We are headed for a small town well outside Detroit.”

Cue the inward groan. So I was going back to the country. Great. I have a dislike for the country. Okay, a strong dislike.  In all of my sixteen years as a foster kid, I have never adjusted to the isolation from shopping malls and movie theaters, and I hated the thought of being again exiled to the land where the entertainment of choice included cow tipping and mail box smashing—not to mention turkey burping. Don’t ask.

The silence grew awkward after a few minutes went by, and I steeled myself for what I knew would come next. Calvin has a knack for switching his occupation from social worker to counselor at such opportune silence, and I dread it.

“You know, Kenneth,” Calvin began as he turned onto the onramp to the freeway, “I have watched you interact with your peers on several occasions. You seem to hold yourself a little aloof. Are you shy, or is it something else?”

Brilliant, I thought. “’something else’, I suppose,” I said out loud.

Calvin nodded an understanding nod. “Perhaps you need to boost your self-esteem. Remember, just don’t worry about how other people see you.  It only matters how you see yourself. For instance, if you see yourself as a confident young man, that is what you will become.”

 “That means a lot from the one whose name-meaning is ‘little bald one’,” I replied with a smirk. I had been waiting to use that bit of information ever since I had randomly stumbled upon it.

Calvin jerked his head to stare at me and ran a hand through the few wisps of hair left on his head, using his fingers to comb the fluff over his shiny bald crown. “You looked up the meaning of my name?”

I shrugged and pretended to look innocent. “I was bored.”

Calvin’s counseling attempt was effectively cut off at this revelation, and silence reigned in the car for a time. I eventually turned to my book again and only looked up several hours later when we drove through a small town. The buildings were box-shaped and old, and the streets were nearly deserted. An old brick school and a grocery store on the corner contained almost the only signs of activity.

“This is Hollow Brook,” Calvin informed. “A quaint town, it seems.”

A boring town, it seems, I thought to himself.

“Your new home is just five miles outside this town. You will be going to school here, I warrant,” Calvin continued, inclining his head toward the brick school.

I nodded but couldn’t bring myself to speak, and a tangible sense of dread continued to grow inside me. It was not only that I had been exiled to this primitive land, though that of course was bad, but also dread at meeting my new foster family. I had liked very few of my former foster “parents”.

The Geo Metro began winding its way up a densely-wooded hill outside of Hollow Brook. Higher and higher the little car climbed, and the engine’s steady whine grew higher-pitched by the minute under the strain. I fought back the nausea at all the twists and turns in the sharp incline and tried not to look off the edge of the road, where the forested ground sloped steeply. Then the road beneath the tires turned to gravel while at the same time a sign warned that we had reached the end of the county road. There were only one or two more houses ahead.

“Here we are,” Calvin said, glancing down at a piece of paper holding an address one more time. He turned into a driveway. The driveway ended at the top of a knoll, which was crowned by a simple farm house. A pasture stretched for a few hundred yards to our right, surrounded by the green forest on all sides, and in it grazed several black-and-white cows. A somewhat dilapidated barn could be seen over the edge of the knoll. An older couple stood before the house and waved as the car pulled in.

“Do you know much of them?” I asked, trying to keep my voice level. I stared at the older couple, half-expecting the male to be holding a pitch fork in one hand or something.

“Well, for starters, they are an older couple—as you can see—who want to have children in their house again. They were too old to foster younger kids, so they agreed to foster a teenager,” Calvin said.

“So what, they just want a free farm hand?”

“Quite the contrary,” Calvin replied, shutting off his car engine. “They are your blood relatives.”

I stared in dumb shock at my social worker. Remember how I said that Calvin was a killer with details? A sledge hammer to the head might have had less effect than his stunning words. My blood relatives? I had been told that I had none, or at least that none of my relatives cared to see me.

“You see, Kenneth,” Calvin continued importantly, “some state paperwork pusher sitting in a cubicle somewhere just happened to glance over the form of your two foster parents to be, Mr. and Mrs. Jared and Marie Fletcher by name, and realized that their last name was the same as yours. A good amount of digging later, it was discovered that you were indeed related, though distantly, so of course it was an obvious match to pair you together.”

“You sure have a way of breaking things to me easy.”

“Watch it, buster. Let’s go.”

5 comments:

  1. That's sweet Kyle! Great start! Keep it up, you've got some great potential with this story.

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  2. That's really good! You should have tons of fun with this story! Keep up the good work!

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  3. Thanks so much for your encouragement and support, Zachary and Hannah! It really means a lot! :0) See you guys this weekend!

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  4. Nice beginning! Paul and I both enjoyed it.

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