No picture. Not yet. Our classroom is facing the Ocean and has a view of Diamond Head.
The first day we heard a talk by William Martin on first lines and first pages. About setting up the voice and the characters. About compelling the reader to turn that page.
Then we had a break and IMMEDIATELY WENT TO STARBUCKS...which made HOLLY and I late for class...my bad...
so....WE WERE SEPARATED!!!! We couldn't even pass notes back and forth.
In the beginning we worked on the events in our stories. Listing the 10 major events that lead to the next thing.
It was HARD!!!!!
Even with a second draft of this current book finished I had a REALLY difficult time and mine was horrible. I sweated blood to create my list and when I read it over it actually bore little resemblance to the book I wrote...*crumples paper up and starts over*
The next task seemed easier. Homework: write a one page ghost story with NO HOUSE THAT IS OFFERED FOR SALE THAT A NEW FAMILY MOVES INTO...ie no Amityville horror...Rats...
Do you want to read my home work? Do you? well...
Here it is:
I’m being chased. Don’t come closer. I tell them, but the one doggedly tromps through the forest with the video camera rolling, slowing only to take a slurp of his beer. I flee. I soar. Trees whisk by. Stones rattle and tumble. Bushes rear out of the ground, but the flannel-shirted idiot keeps it up. The other moron wears a hooded sweatshirt that flops over his face, and carries a metal flashlight. Hard to balance that and the can of brew he holds in his hand as he jogs, but he manages without spilling a drop. Takes talent, that.
“He’s getting away, Lenny. Head him off.”
“Got him, Carl. You just keep filming.”
Stay away. I tell them, but they don’t listen. They never listen. Why do they not listen? I allow the idiot with the camera a fleeting glimpse of me. I am a startle. A movement out of the corner of his eye. A shimmer of glowing light. His lumbering body swings around and he stumbles forward. Rasping breath. Excitement and expectation causes him to be heedless. I count on this and use it to my advantage.
When his foot crashes through the rotted plywood covered with soft pine needles and leaves, his body tumbles down the darkened shaft. He doesn’t have time to do more than grunt in surprise. If I were him I might have tossed the beer and camera aside and grabbed a hold of the frame or protruding root on the way down. He doesn’t of course. They never think of it at the time. I know I never did. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty as they often say.
I know these woods like the back of my hand. Or did when I had a hand. Every path. Each trail. How close the quarry is to the edge of the road. The location of every pit. Each abandoned well. What it takes to entice and beguile.
I know how it will be for the next one.
His heart will thud in his ears as he holds his breath until he nearly explodes. “Carl? CARL? Where are you? Carl?” he will say. His fingers will become sweaty and both hands will tremble. Maybe he will shine his light in a wide circle. Around and around until he is dizzy. A twig snaps. I hear him coming. Maybe I will show myself. Maybe he will die of fright. Time stopping dead like a crushed watch. If he doesn’t, it will be as easy to lead him to the shaft as it was for the others. Easier, even. I know this.
Each time it gets easier.
Comments? Of course you all knew it would be my style to write one from the POV of a ghost...
What would you have done?