Yeah! I actually started writing book 2 today! I’ve finished arranging the bits and pieces of my outline and have finally got to my favourite part: putting one word after another to create something beautiful. I’ve forced myself to stop developing the outline anymore so that I can have creative flexibility as I write. I know things will change and I need to have the freedom to be able to go with the flow. Some writers (a few) never actually outline at all, but I think it helps me write with more confidence if I know where I’m going.
I also created a time line for myself. I guessed at how long I think my book should be and figured out how many words I need to produce per writing day to finish my first rough draft in three months.
In celebration, I’m going to do something I know I shouldn’t- I’m going to post my opening scene. Remember, this is a very first draft so things will probably change but I’m so excited right now I’m going to do it anyways.
Here’s the intro to the second book in my Gateworld series… very tentatively called ‘The Hand of Darkness’.
Fear crawled over her skin with cold fingers, worming its way beneath her bedclothes and freezing her breath in her chest. A breeze, like a sigh, rippled the sheets across her legs and tugged them to the floor.
Moreanna wanted to move, wanted to take control, even a scream would prove she still owned her body. Instead she lay frigid upon the bed, her horror locked upon the darkness of the open closet door.
I’m going crazy, she told herself. There’s nothing there, there never is. It’s genetic; mom always said it would happen. One day I’d lose control; start seeing things that aren’t there. This isn’t the first time. He won’t get me, he can’t. He doesn’t exist.
Lancing pain plunged into her temples. The darkness swallowed the doorway and turned the corner of the bedroom into an empty vortex. She saw a shoe, drab, and shadow grey, and then an arm. He walked from the darkness as if pushing past a velvet curtain.
He dressed in a stiff old-fashioned suit with tall boots and silky white gloves. He sat on the side of her bed and touched a strand of dark hair curling across the pillow.
Moreanna’s lips parted and a quiet groan escaped.
“It’s your own fault,” said the ghost. The words ground together like stones. “You call me: night after night. I think you want me to come.” He leaned forward. “Yes, you’re strong, irresistible in fact. But I’m still in control.”
“No,” Moreanna pushed the word out with a frosty breath. The ghost drew back in surprise; the look on his face sharp.
“Go away,” she whispered.
Something exploded out of her, rippling like an invisible shock wave and smashing back the darkness. The ghost staggered backwards. Moreanna gasped, feeling blood drain from her face, her hair damp and heavy upon her forehead.
The ghost recovered quickly. He sprang forward with a glint of red in his eyes.
“You think you can banish me?” he said. “This proves nothing! One day you will serve me, everyone will.” He thrust a pale hand through her forehead, taking hold of her thoughts with numbing cold. He smiled. “Say hello to your brother for me.”
Fear like she’d never known invaded her mind. Caught in a cage of terror, her mind folded back on itself, wrenching free from the last shred of sanity. Reason and thought shattered like broken glass. Finally, she began to scream.
Doorways, hundreds, even thousands of doorways. All of them open, all of them leading to him.
“Sis! Snap out of it!”
Monsters were coming for them. Not nightmares, real monsters. Monsters to tear and kill. Blood and fire. The world was burning.
“It’s a dream!”
Fire. The world killed by fire.
A sharp blow jarred her free from the madness. Her eyes snapped open. Had they really been closed? The smell of wood, wax, and lavender incense filled her nose. She felt the rough touch of a warm woollen blanket against her bare arms. Her cheek stung and throbbed with heat. She raised a hand to touch the skin.
Her brother stood beside her bed, wearing striped blue pyjama bottoms. His eyes were wide with fright.
“I heard,” he said. “I heard your dream in my sleep.”
Already the dream was fading. She remembered a voice in the darkness, fire… and endless doorways. She shuddered and glanced at the bedroom closet. It was closed.
Moreanna took a slow breath. She closed her eyes, counted to three and sat up.
I am a stone, she told herself.
She looked Tavin over, using her concern to push away the nightmare.
“Are you okay?”
Tavin’s face flushed. “Am I okay? Are you insane! You were the one screaming!”
I am a stone.
Moreanna frowned. A scar with three parallel cuts dragged itself down her brother’s face. It was faint; she’d only just noticed it. She wondered why he’d never said anything. She studied him with a careful eye, wondering what else she’d missed while they’d been apart.
His shoulders had grown strong, and his jaw had lost its roundness. He needed a haircut; his black bangs fell constantly into his eyes. Her gaze wandered to the white scar that tore itself into Tavin’s bare chest.
She’d been there for that one. It had happened the same night their mother died. It’d been years since she’d seen it. He saw her look and flinched, but instead of turning away, he sat down upon the edge of her bed and took her hand.
“What did you see?”
She shook her head.
“Just a dream.”
“It felt like more than a dream.” Tavin’s dark eyes grew flat and stubborn, the way their father’s used to.
“I’m sorry.” She meant it.
Tavin looked as if he wanted to say something but changed his mind and closed his mouth. He knew she didn’t like talking about their connection. Or at least they called it a connection. As far as Moreanna could tell, it was usually a one-way street; she blasted her thoughts and Tavin received them. She only heard him if he wanted her to. In contrast, her thoughts drained out of her mind like water in a leaky tub.
It irritated her that she’d lost control again. She was the oldest; she was supposed to be the one taking care of things. Lately, it seemed to be the other way around.
“Go to bed Tav,” she said. “I’m fine.”
Tavin stood up, watching her warily. The scar on his chest glowed pale in the dim light.
“You’ll need to talk about it sometime.”
“Not tonight. Go to bed.”
Tavin backed down. He moved towards the door, his eyes watching her the whole time.
We’re not normal you know. He stepped out of the room.
Moreanna flipped onto her stomach and buried her head beneath the pillow, hoping to block him from picking up on anymore of her thoughts.
You think I don’t know that?
So… what do you think?