Do you ever look back at your past writing and laugh/ cringe?
That's exactly what I did this weekend, when I was looking on my portable hard drive and found the original opening chapter of Sibylline Nights, from 2009, before it even had a title or proper plot.
Back then Nola was called Elaine, and she was in a relationship with a guy named Jerry.
“Jerry, could you pass me another beer?” Elaine asked, as she browsed through yet another ancestry-tracing website.
“Sure thing, babe,” replied the black haired man that had been sleeping with Elaine and supplying her with alcohol, drugs and Internet access for the past three years. “How’s the search going?”
“Crap! Honestly, what is the use of creating a website if it holds no useful information?” she complained, pushing her dyed black hair out of her eyes and taking a deep swig from the can.
“Why don’t you leave it for today and come back to bed with me?” suggested Jerry.
“Because the sooner I find my sisters, the sooner I can get out of this crap hole bed-sit,” Elaine bit.
“Charming,” he grunted in reply, before stalking back to bed and leaving Elaine alone.
Life had always been unfair to Elaine Reid, but never more so than recently. She'd recently turned eighteen, and with it she had gained the ability to trace her birth family.
What makes it most cringe inducing is the horrible case of telling not showing. Oh I had so much to learn!
Since her eighteenth birthday, she’d been having painful migraines and she could have sworn that she’d been able to move an object without touching it. In addition, she had a sixth sense and often knew something was going to happen before it actually did.
Elaine put the bizarre occupancies down to coincidence, tiredness and stress, and vowed to see a doctor about her migraines.
A whole three months had passed since Elaine had turned eighteen, and she was still no closer to locating her birth family. However her headaches had gotten worse, and the doctors couldn't seem to find a cause for the condition.Since the first occurrence when Elaine could have sworn she made the salt slide across the table merely by thinking about it, other similar things had been frequently happening.
She couldn't go a day without experiencing the feeling that she's picked up another person's thoughts. At first Elaine had thought she was going mad from the amount of alcohol she'd been drinking, and then she'd considered that it was just because she and Jerry had know each other for so long, so she had gotten good at guessing what was on his mind.
Thankfully by 2011 - spurred on by NaNaoWriMo - I had got a plot together, changed a lot of the characters' names (really triplets who's names all began with E! What was I thinking?!!) and had learnt and thing or two about writing!
It's funny to look back though and see how far you've come. How much you've grown with your writing.
I think I will keep the original opening chapter as a memento and reminder of how the story has progressed and what I am capable of if I put my mind to it.
And in the name of progress, I will continue editing draft one of Sibylline Nights. Our washer is broken so I'm going to have to do the laundry at the laundrette. I think I'll take my laptop with me and work on expanding Esmee's opening scene.
I hope everyone is having a good Monday, thus far, and that your week is off to an excellent start!