Sophomore Status and a Snippet

I wrote my first completed ms in about 4 months, most of it longhand, before I got my laptop - while raising two kids and working full time. Sure, it took awhile to edit, but the idea was there, the desire was there, and I did it. Did I mention that I decided to write a book about 2 days before I started? Don't hate me. (I mean really, it isn't published yet. or even agented).

But you know what? Writing that second book is hard. I got half done with one, trashed it, started over, and got about a quarter through again. Then I started another one. And another. And, now, another.

So, well, here's a snippet of my newest. It's about a girl whose entire life changed when her older sister had something tragic happen (how's that for cryptic?). But it does go back to my 17-year-old girl voice, which I absolutely love. (and this is totally first draft. no editing or critquing necessary! God knows in 2 years when I finally decide I'm done, this part will no longer exist. ;) (and to continue the parentheses - wow I love this book) (and, oh, the mc's name is Sydney, aka Syd):

(the mc's sister, Devlyn, is a writer. yes, original, I know *shrugs shoulders* *smiles sheepishly* *wants to tell you Dev's also a really great painter, but feels weird now*):

I sat next to my big sister.

"Can I read it?"

"If you want to. I told Elizabeth I'd send it to her tonight if I could get it finished on time. Can you dye my hair later? This one's all faded."

"Sure, what color did you get?" Devlyn was crazy about her hair. She'd been every color of the rainbow, including this one phase where she made me streak it like a rainbow.

"There's a box in the bathroom. You can pick one if you want."

Mom glanced at the bathroom door and back at me. I shrugged an apology. Five years ago, when Dev lay on the bathroom floor, bloody and pukey and dying, my parents flipped out. Called 9-1-1 and then ran around crying and screaming. When I saw her, I hugged her and told her I loved her and didn't want her to ever leave me.

Now, I did the same thing every Monday.

"I wrote this poem about a girl with cancer. I read about her on the internet. She went through so much pain, yet had the best outlook on life ever. She deserved a poem about her, right?"

"Definitely. Read it to me when I get back," I said, walking out to get the box out of the hall bathroom we shared. Mom followed.

"What'd you do to make her mad this time?"

"She's hiding something, Syd. She was putting something in her closet when I walked in."

"Who cares? She's twenty years old and hardly ever goes anywhere or does anything. All her friends live inside her computer. Maybe she painted a picture of a guy or something. Let her have a little secret."

"Dr. Waverly says -"

"Dr. Waverly is paid to tell us to watch every little thing. That doesn't mean we have to freak out whenever one of them happens. Besides, she said she's sending a new poem to Elizabeth tonight. That's a good sign."

"There's a reading on Saturday that they're getting ready for."

"Even better. Dev's good when she's working. Plus, she wants to dye her hair again, so that's good. The green's been making me nauseous."

(ha, and you wondered why I made it such a weird color)

Any tips on finishing the second? Leave 'em below!!


  1. This one sounds powerful! I've found that outlining and knowing my path ahead of time really helps me finish. One key is to allow your characters to talk to you, to dictate where the book goes. It's their story after all. ;) Best of luck, it sounds like you have a great start!

  2. I loved this snippet! The characters seemed very real. I think sometimes with the second, we realize what's ahead of us. We're no longer just gleefully typing away. BIC Butt in chair. you can do it!

  3. I agree with Heather~ this one sounds powerful. I already feel sucked into the story!

  4. Hooray! That's a heck of a voice. Yay!

  5. Thanks, ladies! It's always fun to share! (although I apologize for my extensive use of the word "something". Jeesh.)


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