Friday, February 21, 2014

Terribleminds Flash Fiction: Random Song Title Challenge

If someone would have asked me then why I did it, I would have replied that I was drawn to her. I was compelled to go to her, like a moth to a light. I wanted to be with her more than anything. And when I realized that it wasn’t going to happen I knew I was left with only one option. If I couldn’t have her, no one would.

I remember hearing the moving truck pulling up, the sound of the air breaks drawing my attention. She followed behind them in her little Volvo. I watched from behind my drawn blinds, barely lifting one enough to see through. Her golden blond hair was tossing around in the morning wind. She wore the smallest jean shorts I had ever seen and a snug pink tank top. Her skin looked soft and silky with legs that went on forever. I was aroused just watching her.

That first night I couldn’t keep my mind off of her. I sincerely tried to ignore the urges, but they just kept getting stronger and stronger. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. It got to the point where I had no other choice. I had to go see her.

I knew it was too late to knock. What young girl living alone in a new neighborhood would answer the door at three in the morning? But I couldn’t wait. I just needed to see her. Needed just one quick look at that beautiful, silky skin and then I would be able to go to sleep.

That first time I just slipped on my black, hooded sweatshirt and tried to stay as inconspicuous as I could. That night the shadows were my friends. The neighborhood was quiet. Sleeping. Most of the porch lights were off, but she had left hers on.

Inviting me. Compelling me. Moth to a flame.

I stayed to the side of her yard, near the bushes. All the lights in the house were off but I didn’t want to take any chances. The first window I came to was impossible to see inside of, so I quickly moved to the next. The shades on this one were closed but there were cracks, large cracks on the sides that allowed me to see inside.

It was her bedroom.

I could see her lying in bed through the dim light. The sheets were only partially covering. An exposed leg, all the way up to her upper thigh, caught my attention quickly. I was getting excited again. I moved my eyes up to her chest. She wore a thin t-shirt that allowed me to see the outline of her nipples. I was nearly shaking with excitement. I couldn’t take my eyes away.

It must have been a good hour before she rolled away and pulled the sheets up over her. I couldn’t see anything but a lump in a sheet. My first reaction was frustration. I wasn’t done. I wanted to see more. But I realized it was getting close to sunrise. I needed to get home before I got caught.

The next day I still had the memories fresh in my mind. I had pleasured myself to them numerous times that morning. But by midday I felt my urges returning. I needed to see her again.

I waited all day for her. My mind never straying far from her long legs and blond hair. When she finally came home she wasn’t alone. There was someone with her. A young guy. I remember hoping it was her brother or just a friend. But that night I watched her betray me. She fucked him while I stood there just outside the window.

I felt the anger growing in me. How dare she sleep with another man?

I stormed home, slamming everything in sight. I wanted to break the world. She shattered me, why shouldn’t I do the same to everything around me? I broke all the lights in the house, then the television and the computer. The house was trashed but it didn’t help. There was one thing that still needed breaking.

It was suddenly clear to me what I needed to do.

I sat in the dark watching her house light. It was the only light on the street that was left on. It drew me in.

Her front door burst in with two hard kicks near the knob. I barely remember going into the kitchen, but somehow I had a knife in my hand. It was large, a carving knife. I didn’t care that I wasn’t wearing gloves. I didn’t care that I wasn’t wearing a mask. This was personal. I wanted her to see how I felt. I wanted her to feel how I felt.

I rushed the bedroom, swinging at the young guy as he jumped to his feet. The knife sliced easily across his chest. Blood flung against the wall, a dripping splatter that raced to the floor. He fell back a few steps before grasping at the wound. Screams filled my hears. It was hard to tell if they were from him or her. I didn’t hesitate for long, coming back at him with a forceful stab directly in the face.

His body fell limp as I plucked the blade from his skull.

She stood on the bed screaming. Her naked body was even more beautiful than I had first imagined. I watched her for a few seconds, taking it all in. I would savor these memories of her forever.

When she tried to run passed me I reached out, grabbing a handful of that flowing blond hair. I pulled her back to me. She smelled like flowers and sweat. And sex. I felt my anger raging. That bitch. The knife moved mechanically, I barely registered any of it. In and out. In and out. Blood was flying in all directions. We were both covered instantly.

They told me later I stabbed her twenty-eight times. It felt like more.

When I dropped her lifeless body to the floor, the blood continued to spread everywhere. Between the two of them the carpet was saturated red. I sat down softly on the edge of her bed, the dripping knife still locked in my hands. I still couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. Even through all of the stab wounds, open lacerations, and blood I saw her beauty.

A neighbor must have heard the screams and commotion because it wasn’t long before the police arrived. I did what they said. Dropped the knife. Got on the floor. I didn’t care what happened to me. I had killed the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I don’t regret what I did. Like I said before, if I couldn’t have her then no one would.

The End.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Draft One Complete!

      Today I finished the first draft of The Bone Carousel.  I have been working on and off for two years on this novel.  I took nearly a year off from all writing in the middle of this book because of personal things but the last few months I really got back into it and knocked it out faster than I anticipated.

      The end result is a very messy 80k draft, however the ground work has now been laid.  I am so excited to start the editing process.   I plan on rewriting nearly all of the opening act.  So much has changed from what was outlined when I first started.  Mostly the beginning of the story, but also a few of the characters need brushing up.  I hope to be done with the second draft within the next month or so and then if it survives a read-through by me, I will be moving on to beta readers.

      Because this is the first book in a trilogy the ending was a bit tricky.  I have never written a series, only stand-alones, so this took a lot of work to get right.  But when I finished the last line today I knew I had something great.  This is by far my best work to date.  Now that I am one step closer, I cannot wait to share it with everyone.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Storytelling or Writing?

Lately I have been writing and reading more than ever.  As I continue to grow as an author and hone my craft I have really begun to notice the difference in a great storyteller and a great writer.  I have also noticed that a lot of people don’t realize this difference. 

I have read many reviews and spoken with many of my friends who have said things like, “the book had some cool characters but the writing sucked” or “the movie had great special effects but the writing was terrible.”  Then once I check it out I think, the writing was pretty good but the storytelling was the biggest issue.

This happens when the technical part of the writing is done well (spelling, punctuation, grammar, well-written prose) but the plot goes nowhere or only in circles.  Most books or movies like this are usually boring and move at a slow pace.  When reading these I would find myself begging the author for a curve ball or some kind of twist. 

On the other hand, if something has terrible writing but great storytelling it usually will have a fast moving plot and great characters but you notice the writing.  Things that should be caught in editing stick out (spelling, punctuation, grammar) or like the book I am currently reading, in which the author writes everything like a fourteen year old girl, but not one of the main characters is supposed to be under eighteen.  The story is intriguing and the pages are turning fast but I can’t help but notice the writing isn’t up to par.

As someone who writes mainly novels I strive have a balance of both in my work.  I hope to have a story that excites the reader and makes them want to finish the book in one sitting.  I want to make them think about the story and the characters after they’ve finished or in between readings.  I don’t want them to think, “This would be good but the writing is terrible.” 

Does it really make a difference?

I think most people prefer a great story over great writing.  A teller/movie/novel can usually be tolerated if the story is good enough to keep your attention, despite the dialogue/narrative being poor.  However, it is much more enjoyable to listen/read a story that has both great storytelling and has great writing.