Monday, 30 April 2012

Just a small announcement :D

Hi :) I just want to say hello to all my new followers! I haven't introduced you to this blog yet, so eh...hi? I hope you enjoy reading my stories, and feedback is always greatly appreciated! All my stories are in The Library, which you can see just above this little post :D

And a little thing for Rose. I know this isn't exactly orthodox, or normal for that matter, but I've become slightly desperate. I want all of my followers to go on to Rose's blog (Mad Roses and Oopsy Daises) and pester her with this message - Read Jenni's email. You can do this anyway you wish, as crude or eloquently as you wish, but make sure you get that message across - Read Jenni's email.

And Rose, if you are reading this, READ MY EMAIL! ARGGGGHHH! *insert ripping hair out and screaming for ten minutes here*

Ahem. Thank you.

Cafe Eros - Part 1

Hello! Now, I know that is meant to be a How I Write post, but I have so many stories for you guys they're pouring out my ears, so this is me trying to clear out the backlog. This is a story I wrote one day when I was seriously bored, so it's not perhaps my best work. However, I hope you enjoy it :D

Cafe Eros

“Oh man, I can’t believe we’re doing this!”

Jason stood outside the Cafe Eros, a grin plastered on his face. One hand was shoved in his pocket, while the other one was holding his phone to his ear. “I know, right? I can’t wait to see the look on the chick’s face when she realises. I’ll try to snap a pic before I run for it, ok?”

“You’d better. Look, I need to go. Tell me what happens after. Just try not to let on, and use as many of the practical jokes as possible. Damn! This is going to be funny!”

Jason smiled. “I know. Look, I’ll see you later, Drew, ok? Bye.” He pulled the phone from his ear and hung up. The screen went black and Jason stared at himself. He was dressed in a pair of jeans and a shirt and tie - smart casual was what his mum called it. He didn’t really care what he wore. He was all in favour of wearing pyjamas, but even he would be embarrassed to be seen in the most romantic restaurant in town wearing a pair of boxer shorts.

Jason shoved his phone in his pocket and tightened his grip on the plastic bag he was holding. He could feel its contents rub guiltily up against the curve of his calf. Some plastic flies, an electric shock pad, a small bag of hair he’d picked up from the salon, a random rubber chicken that had somehow escaped from his wardrobe. Everything he would need to turn this ‘date’ into a nightmare. Jason smiled again and walked up to the restaurant doors. Showtime.

Jason pushed open the heavy wooden doors and stepped inside to the warm, glowing interior of the cafe. It was sweltering compared to the cold February air outside. The whole room was red and velvety, lit by flickering candles and a single chandelier. Bunches of roses sat on every table and someone had sprayed sweet perfume all over the room. The effect was sickening. God knows why anyone would want to come here. Jason wrinkled his nose and sauntered up to the counter. A bored looking blonde was standing behind it. Her face was covered in fake tan and foundation. She glanced up and blinked. “Do you have a reservation?”

“Yes.” Jason leaned on the counter and flicked his shaggy brown hair from his eyes. “It’s under the name 

‘Chase’.”

The woman glanced down and flicked through the book that was lying on the counter. “Jason Chase? Table for two?”

Jason flashed a smile. “That’s the one. Thank you.”

“This way.” The woman grabbed two menus and hurried off, leading Jason into the crowded middle of the restaurant. It stank horribly - a mixture of pasta, about twenty different types of perfume and a fat man’s body odour. Jason stifled a gag and instead turned back to the waitress. She had stopped at a small table by a window. “There you go. Would you like a drink before your date arrives?”

Jason shook his head and slid into the seat facing the door. “No, thank you.”

The woman nodded and sat the two menus down on the table. “I’ll show your date over here when she arrives.”  She smiled and walked away, leaving Jason to stare out the window into the dark, cold night.

Jason sat the bag on the floor and relaxed into the chair. This was going to be so much fun. He’d probably feel bad about it later, but think of the experience! The laughs! The stories that would came out of this one night. It was the girl’s fault anyway. Hadn’t she learned not to talk to strangers, least not on the internet? He could be a pedo for all she knew. He wasn’t, but still... she deserved to be messed with, talking to someone on a chat forum like that. She had almost been courting trouble. It was her fault if he got hurt, not his. Stupid idiot.

Jason sat still for a minute, before picking the bag up from the floor and popping it on his lap. He might as well start with the pranking from the beginning. He rummaged around inside the bag, his hand sliding past smooth plastic and the rough cloth of a false moustache. Bingo. His fist curled round a circular pad and he pulled it out from under the packet of false flies and the rubber chicken. The small circle was about the size of ten pence piece and fitted perfectly in his palm. It was meant to of course. Jason smiled and pressed the pad onto his hand. It stuck and Jason flexed his fingers. All he needed to do now was press the pad with one finger and then shake someone’s hand. He grinned roguishly and sat his hand palm down on the table. The games were about to begin, and the shock pad was just the start.

“And who was the table booked under?”

Jason glanced up and looked at the door. Could it be...no. Jason slumped back down in his seat and rolled his eyes. It was just some college graduate. She was wringing her hands nervously, ruffling the hem of her red dress, and her eyes were darting back and forth across the room.  Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail but a few strands fell down the side of her face, wilted and dull. Jason ignored her and turned back to face the window. It was just some love struck girl, terrified by the prospect of a guy liking her. Jason sighed and glanced at his watch. The chick was meant to be here five minutes ago.  Trust her to ruin his fun. He slumped further down in his chair and closed his eyes. The girl could come and talk to him when she was ready.

“Excuse me?” Jason opened one eye and looked up. The woman in the red dress was standing in front of him, looming over his muscled frame. Her eyes were a dull brown and they had a thin coating of tears over them. Jason opened his other eye and pushed himself up into his seat. “What do you want?”

The girl started scratching the inside of her palm. “Are you HotGuy455? From ChatWorld.com?”

Jason’s eyes widened and he sat up straight in the chair. Oh god, oh god...He swallowed and coated over his panic with a smile. “That’s me. And you are?” Please no, please no, please, oh god, no!


The girl bit her lip and extended her hand. “I’m ClassicsGirl02.” Jason felt his heart sink and his mouth go dry. This was her. This was the teenage weirdo he had envisioned, the girl that wrote in long sentences and did nothing but drivel on about a guy called George Orwell. Oh god. This was her. This was her! Jason heart did a backflip in his chest. This girl wasn’t a teen! She was in her twenties, early thirties! What was he going to do?! Jason gulped, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down in his throat.  He couldn’t see anything, do anything. All he knew was that the girl’s hand was looming ever closer to his face, wanting to be shook, wanting to be introduced. Jason swallowed and did the first thing he could think of - reach out, and shake.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

You Can't Hate A Dead Girl - Part 2

Yoyoyiggityyo :D How are you doing? Despite the fact I've got three tests coming up, an essay to type out and a heck of a lot of housework to do, I'm feeling pretty good!
Anyway, here's Part 2 of Hate. I hope you enjoy it! To see the first part click here.

You Can't Hate A Dead Girl - Part 2

My first instinct is to reach out the mirror and grab her by the shoulder, plead with her to stop. But judging from her expression, I’m guessing it wouldn’t be a very good idea. Instead, I hold my hands up above my head. “It’s ok. I’m not going to hurt you. Just...calm down.”

Her mouth closes in the blink of an eye and she stares at me. Her eyes have grown to twice their normal size and beads of sweat are blossoming on her pale skin. I swallow. “It’s ok. I’m not going to hurt you,” I repeat, trying to make my voice sound as soothing as possible. It’s hard to keep the spite out of my voice. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m trying to help her, not harm her. For the first time in my life, I’m trying to be nice to Leah. “Shush...it’s ok, it’s ok...”

Slowly, the shocked look on Leah’s face disappears and she leans in closer to the mirror. Her face is still deathly pale, and her eyes are darting over me, inspecting me. I have the sudden urge to cover up, to shield my body from her penetrating gaze. I realise I don’t know what I’m wearing. Am I wearing anything? I glance down and sigh inwardly. I’m wearing the clothes I died in, but thankfully, they’re not stained with blood.

“You-You’re meant to be dead.” Leah’s voice wavers and I look her in the eye.

“I am.”

Leah gulps and runs her fingertips over her skinny wrist. “I’m hallucinating, aren’t I. I’m having a nightmare.”

“No. No, you’re not. I’m here, really here. I need to tell you something.”

“If you’re going to insult me, I’d rather we waited until we were both dead, ok? It’s not going to be much longer for me.” Her fingers trace the scars on her wrists and I have to stop myself from shouting at her to stop. But it’s her decision. If she wants to kill herself, that’s up to her. All I hope is that with me gone, she can be a bit happier.

“I’m not here to insult you.” I cross my arms over my chest, overly aware of how small Leah’s is. “I’m here to apologise.”

Leah raises her eyebrows. “I must be dreaming.”

I shake my head. “If you were hallucinating, wouldn’t you hallucinate about something a bit more whacky? A bit more colourful? Like a Chinese dragon wearing a tutu?”

Leah opens her mouth to reply and then shuts it again. “But you’re...you’re Madison. You never apologise. To anyone.”

“Yeah, well, dying changes a person.”

Leah nods and pauses. “You’re real. You’re actually here, in my bedroom.”

“Yup.”

Leah gulps again and sits her hands in her lap. “You don’t have to apologise you know. All those things you said were true. I am ugly. I am disgusting. I am a freak. You weren’t teasing me. You were telling me the truth.”

I sigh and let my arms droop to my sides. “Look, Leah, I’m apologising for insulting you and for laughing at you and for hitting you and for all the other crappy things I’ve done. I was - no, I still am- a shit person. I know I am. Which is why I need you.”

“Why do you need me?”

I take a deep breath and remind myself who I am. I’m Madison. I’m not a martyr or a saint. I’m a girl, and a horrible one at that. I lean forward. “Leah, you of all people know that I’m a bitch.”

Leah looks terrified for a moment and then, figuring that I can’t hurt her through a mirror, nods.

“Right. I’m a terrible, horrible person. But all those people going to my funeral have forgotten that. I need you to remind them.”

Leah’s face crumples. “You want to go down in history as a scumbag?”

“Yeah. I was fake in life, pretending to be all perfect - I don’t want to be fake in death as well. You’re the only person that can help me. I need to you to gather up as many people as you can and bring them to my funeral. Show your scars. Tell them what I did to you. Make them hate a dead girl.”

Leah furrows her brow and flicks a strand of hair from her eyes. “Why should I help you?”

I was dreading this question. “Do you know how I died?”

Leah pauses and shakes her head.

“I died chasing a girl across a road, with the intention of hurting her. A bus came along, and neither of us saw it. She was hit instantly, and I died later in hospital with two punctured lungs and a ruptured liver. I died being a bitch - she died being a victim. You want to know how many people went to her funeral? Twenty. You want to know how many people are going to mine? Over one hundred. That’s why I want your help, 
Leah. I want people to see me for what I am, for what I died being. For the first time in my whole life, I’m trying to say sorry. This is my way of apologising. That, and this is your first and last chance to rub metaphorical dirt in my eyes. So are we on?”

Leah bites her lip and rubs her scars even more furiously. The urge to say something horrible is rising in me again, but I push it down. “I-I don’t know...”

“I don’t know? Come on! This is your chance to be mean to me! I want to be hated, and I want you to do it - this is a shocking privilege. Plus, I’ll be your guardian angel.”

“You will?”

“Naw, probably not. Just come on. If not for me, for that girl.”

Something in her eyes sparks. Leah swallows and takes a deep breath. Her tiny chest rises and falls, and I can see her ribs through her dress, ridges breaking the soft fabric. Her hands cross over her lap and she closes her eyes. I know even before she opens her mouth what she’ll say. After all, the enemy of your enemy is your friend, or so the proverb goes. “Ok.”

I fist pump the air and grin. “Thanks a bundle. Ok, go and gather everyone you know who doesn’t like me. You’ll find quite a lot of them hiding in computer labs and stuff - just look for the non-popular kids. Gather them up and take them to the funeral. Stand up halfway through and just talk. Get people to tell their story and get the crowd into a frenzy. People will object, but it doesn’t matter. Just keep talking. Get the hate, the anger flowing. Not only will it help me, but trust me - you’ll feel better after ranting about me. Point out my pitfalls and my faults. Tell people I deserved to die. Tell everyone to hate me. Make them hate a dead girl.”

Leah nods. “Are you sure about this?”

“Absolutely.”

“Ok.”

There’s silence for a few minutes until Leah raises her head. “I’d better get going if I’m to get all those people.”

I nod. “I guess so. Thanks, by the way.”

Leah doesn’t bother to nod back, and she stands up and walks to the door. Just as puts her hand on the wood, she stops. “Why me?”

“Because I figured you of all people hate me. It seemed fitting for you to persuade everyone else.”

“Ok.” Leah sweeps some hair out of her eyes and, with a parting nod, she walks out the door. Her footsteps get quieter and quieter as she disappears down the hall, and I feel myself relax. I did it. I can leave now. I can float away. I close my eyes and smile. I feel a bit better about myself. A bit happier. I’m trapped in the mirror, but not for much longer. I can finally let go. I can feel the waves of death washing over me, inviting me to swim in the frothing white ocean. The waves are lapping over my toes, my legs, my belly. It won’t be long now. I relax further into the air and wait. I did it. I finally managed it. Maybe now, I won’t be haunted by guilt, or at least, the people I hurt will feel better about themselves. Maybe Leah will stop cutting and start eating again. I smile, just as I feel my mind drift away.  

Hating a live girl is easy. Hating a dead one is hard. And persuading people to hate a dead girl, well...I died trying.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

You Can't Hate A Dead Girl - Part 1

Hello :) It's been a week since I finished Wolfbane, and my heart still pangs when I think about it. Whether this is from wiring withdrawal, or general depression, or shock or whatever, I don't know...but yeah. Wow.

This is a story I wrote on Monday and Tuesday, despite the fact I have stories coming out of my ears for you lot. It's pretty random, but I hope you like it anyway! The second part shall be up on Saturday. Enjoy!


You Can't Hate A Dead Girl

You can’t hate a dead girl. It’s an unspoken rule, one that weaves its way back into our lives every time someone dies. You’re not allowed to feel happy that they’re gone. You’re not allowed to secretly insult them in your head. You’re not allowed to ditch their funeral in return for a more pleasing activity, like gouging out your eyeballs with a spatula. You’re certainly not allowed to remember their faults and pitfalls, the things that kept them human. When you die, you’re bound to become a martyr. A saint. An angel. It doesn’t matter if you were cruel or mean. Everyone is forced to remember you as a person you weren’t. Everyone is forced to imagine the sun shining out your butt, whether you like it or not.

My name is Madison and funnily enough, I died a week ago. Today is the day of my infamous funeral. Most people are of the opinion that when you die you go to heaven and you can’t return to earth. It’s a pretty thought, one that people hold onto because they enjoy the feeling of living and breathing and digesting and doing other things that mean we are alive. But the truth is never that easy. There’s no heaven up in the sky. I thought there would be, but I got bottom grades for everything, so that doesn’t prove much. The truth is that when you die, you float. You can stay on earth as long as you want, and when you’re done, you can let go. Just...stop. Stop feeling. Stop thinking. Stop wandering. When that happens you disintegrate and, well, stop. You don’t exist anymore. You don’t think. There’s no life. You’re just gone.

I’m planning to stop soon. It would be right here and now, but I need to visit someone. That someone is a girl named Leah. She’s...how do I put this...a skeleton. I know that’s not the proper term, but she is skin and bone. You can see her ribs through her top and her wrists are so tiny you can wrap your thumb and pinkie round them no problem. She cuts as well. Big, sloping, white scars pattern her wrists and her eyes are sunken into her skull. Black bags circle them, and she has a permanent scared look, one you often see on deer before you run them over with a car. She might have been pretty, but she’s not. She’s a freak, and that was why I bullied her. Pushed her around, hit her and insulted her. In all honesty, I think I made her cut. I hated her with a burning passion I couldn’t even name. And she hated me. Which is why, on the day of my funeral, I’m going to visit her. I figure she of all people still see me for what I was - a big, ugly bitch.

So, here I am, skidding over rooftops and jumping onto lampposts like some sort of girly Tarzan. Most spirits choose to fly, but I like running. I was always good at running, and I figured I might as well make the most of my legs before they vanish. I leap over a satellite dish and continue my journey. I’ve been watching Leah for the past few days, following her as she winds her way home through the perfect houses of suburbia and into the clogged and choked back alleys of the poorer parts of town. That’s were I’m going. I’m following her path exactly, except I’m going the much more exciting way of jumping on the roofs. 

I get to her flat in a matter of minutes, and sliding down a gutter, jump into a window. The first thing I feel is the cold. The house is freezing compared to the heat outside. I shiver and look around the room. I appear to have landed in her parent’s bedroom. It’s filthy - clothes are strewn across the floor and a damp patch marks the top right hand corner of the ceiling. The whole house smells musty; a smell that people seem obliged to cover up with peach air freshener, which makes the whole thing smell even worse. I wrinkle my nose and hop into the air. I hover for a minute. So this is what she- Leah- lives like. I never really thought about it before.

I stay still for a moment and then fly through the room and out into the hall. The walls are marked with dirt, grime, and crayon markings. A little boy runs past me, his smile vanishing from his face as he slides through my abdomen. He has dark hair, like his sister, and his clothes are covered in mud. He zooms round the corner and into a room which I can only assume to be his. I wait for the door to close behind him and then gently put my foot down on the floor. She has a little brother. I didn’t know that either. What else didn’t I know?

I walk along the hallway, peering at the doors as I pass them. The bathroom, the study, the living room, the kitchen...I stop at one of the doors. It looks identical to all the others, unmarked and plain, except this one has scratches etched onto the surface. They’re not in shapes or letter or anything...they’re just marks. Hesitantly, I walk up to the door and step through it.

Going inside, I see I chose the right one. The walls are a faded purple, with posters covering almost every inch of them. A bed is pushed into the corner, its cover rumpled and messy. I know from experience that 

Leah will be sitting on the other side of the room, the side I can’t see because of the door. She’ll be sitting at her cluttered desk and looking at herself in the mirror.  Her hands will be on her lap, and her eyes will be filled with tears and sorrow. She’ll be contemplating not eating, or even worse...thinking of the razor blade stashed away in her underwear drawers, where her mum and dad will never look. The thought is enough to make me move. I step inside and close the door, my breath catching in my throat.

I was right. Leah is sitting there, exactly as I pictured her. Her lank black hair gathers around her shoulders and I notice that she is wearing a black dress. She’s going to my funeral. Probably not through choice. 

Everyone in the school was given a day off - I was very popular - so her mum must have felt duty bound to force her child to go. She probably had no idea what I had been doing to her daughter. I swallow and take a step forward. I need to talk to her, but as far as I know, I can’t. I can only watch.

Before I know what I’m doing, I’m stepping toward the mirror. Something tiny in my head is telling me to step inside it, that if I do that, I can talk to her. I stick my hand out and push it through the mirror. It’s like swimming through jelly, and I’m hesitant to stick my other hand in, and let myself be pulled inside. What if I can’t get out? It doesn’t take me very long to figure out that it doesn’t matter. I’ll be letting go after this anyway. I plunge my hand into the metal and feel my body being sucked inside, my soul, marred with guilt and tarnished with sins zooming into the polished glass. In a matter of seconds I’m in the mirror and looking into Leah’s pond-water eyes. I wonder if she can see me, or whether I’m still invisible. My question is answered a moment later. Leah’s mouth drops open and, with horrified gulp of air, she screams. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

Blue

Hey :) Thank you all so much for the comments on my last post. Your support really means a lot to me...
This was the story I entered into Mad Roses and Oopsy Daisies competition, and I was very surprised when it won! I hope you enjoy it :D

Blue

Violet sat in front of the mirror, her eyes closed and her hair being pulled and twisted. “Mum, that hurts.”

“Come on, dearie. It’s not every day you get married. Now, stop wriggling.”

Violet rolled her eyes and ruffled her dress in her hands. The white material crinkled and bulged. It was the wedding dress she had always dreamed of - a flowing one, with lace decorating the chest and long sleeves that covered her arms. It was perfect, but it didn’t feel right. It felt as though it were made for someone else, someone stronger, more powerful. She had thought of telling Mum, but she couldn’t. She had tried so hard to make it everything perfect, everything exquisite, and anyway, it was too late for her to speak up now. The wedding was in an hour.

“There.” Her mum’s voice rung through the bathroom, sweet and bubbling with pride. Violet opened her eyes and smiled.  Her hair perched on top of her head, red curls curving around her cheekbones, framing her thin face. A silver headband was perched on her head. It was decorated with roses and love hearts, woven in with slips of metal so fine Violet could barely see them. It was so pretty...too pretty for a girl like her. She smiled weakly. “Thanks mum, it’s perfect.”

Her mum smiled and wrapped her arms around Violet’s shoulders. “Oh my baby’s growing up.” She sniffed back a tear. “Anyway, you’ve got everything I think. Something old - well, that’s your great grandmother’s garter...something new...hmm...well, that could be your new headband...I only got it for you yesterday. Something borrowed, well that’s Catherine’s little bag. Something blue...do we have that?”

Violet shook her head. “I don’t think so, Mum. I mean, there’s blue trimming on my garter, but that comes under something old, so it doesn’t count, does it?”

Her mum shook her head. “Oh, no, dearie that won’t do at all. I’ll just go see if I can find something. What could I get? You’ve already got the bag, the shoes, the garter...” She bit her lip and fiddled with a curl of 

Violet’s hair. “I wonder...the bouquet? I could nip down to the flower shop and get a blue flower! Will that do, princess?”

Violet shrugged. “Whatever, mum. You decide.” Her voice was weak and inside, her stomach writhed and twisted, folding in on itself with fear and nervousness.

“Yes, I think that’ll do.” Her mum shrugged on her jacket and walked to the door, her hand skimming over the button, rapidly doing them up. “You’ll be ok while I’m away, won’t you? You’ve been so quiet for the last few hours.”

Violet turned away from the mirror and stood up. She plastered a smile on her face. “I’m fine, mum. I’ll be alright.” She curved her hand round the door handle and opened the door. “On you go, mum. I’ll be waiting here, alright?”

Her mum smiled and pecked her cheek. “Ok, love. I’ll be back soon. Oh, my baby...” She sniffed and, stepping out the door, she was gone.

Violet turned back around, facing the inside of the bathroom. It was small and cramped, the silver and blue tiles cracked and weathered after years of use. Despite that, it was spotless - no sign of mould or dust anywhere. The floor gleamed and the bath looked brand new. Violet sat on the edge of it and sighed. Her mum had tried so hard with this wedding. It would kill her if she didn’t go through with it. She had to do it. She had to.

Violet buried her head in her chest and sniffed back tears that were welling behind her eyes. This couldn’t be happening. She - getting married? It wasn’t meant to happen. She had spent the whole of her childhood being told she was going to be single for the rest of her life, that she would live alone with ten cats until she died. She knew it wasn’t true, but she hadn’t expected love to blossom this early. And she certainly hadn’t expected a wedding. She shouldn’t be marrying, not yet...especially not to a man like Stephen...

“Violet?”

Violet glanced up and leapt to her feet. “Stephen? Is that you?” She took a faltering step forward and peered out into the bedroom. It was him. Stephen was standing just beyond the bed, wearing his brand new tux. He looked stunning. His face was glowing and his teeth sparkled in the sunlight coming in from the window. His short brown hair had been spiked up. Violet forced down a shudder, and her stomach cramped painfully.

“There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere for you!” Stephen grinned and walked towards Violet. He enveloped her in a hug, but Violet pushed him away, her legs shaking beneath her.

“The groom isn’t meant to see the bride before the wedding.”

Stephen crossed his arms across his chest. “Violet, you know I don’t care about that superstitious stuff.”

“Well I do, so tough.” She pointed at the door, her hand quivering. “Out.”

Stephen’s face darkened. “What’s gotten into you?”

Violet knew she had gone too far. Her heart went wild in her chest and her palms started to sweat.  She tried to smile and took a step towards him, pressing her skinny arms on his chest. “I’m just nervous, that’s all.”
Stephen hugged her again. She could smell his cologne. “There’s no need to be, honey. You know I love you.” 

He squeezed tighter and Violet could feel her collar bone creak and the flesh bruise underneath. She squirmed, and Stephen held her tighter. “Relax, honey. I don’t want to have to teach you another lesson.”

“Y-you’re hurting me...not on our wedding day, Stephen...please...”

Stephen loosened his grip and leaned backwards. He was smiling, a wide broad beam. His ‘I always know what’s right for you’ face. “Not on our wedding day? I think you’re forgetting who’s the boss around her, Vi.” He nodded and turned back towards the door. “Tonight, we need to talk. Settle some things about authority and whatnot. Now that we’re going to be living together, there needs to be some rules. No backchat, for instance. Ok, sweetie?”

Violet nodded, trying to calm her erratic heart. “Yes, Stephen.”

He smiled and turned towards the door again. “I’ll be seeing you soon, Violet. And remember...be a good girl.” 
His eyes glinted darkly and he stepped out the room, leaving Violet shaking and quivering in his wake.

Violet collapsed onto the bed and burst into tears. She couldn’t do this. Not with him. She had to leave, to get far away from here. She couldn’t marry him. But she wasn’t allowed to leave. Stephen had told her last night. If she left, he would find her. If he got angry when she asked him to leave a room, she dreaded to think what he would be like if she left.

Violet sniffed and hiccupped back some tears. It was ridiculous, the whole thing. When she had met Stephen, he had seemed so charming, so nice. He had taken her by the hand and made her love him, tempting her with wine and flowers and chocolate. And now, he was a monster. She had heard stories, but it had taken her a while to figure out what was going on. She sniffed back a tear and stood up, smoothing out her dress. She had to be pretty for her mum. And Stephen, of course. If she wasn’t beautiful...

Violet shuffled further up the bed and waited for her mum to come back in. The seconds ticked by like hours, and her head was filled with doubt and speeches that begged for mercy. The wedding rhyme skipped around in her head. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

Violet paused and lifted up the sleeve of her dress. She looked at the pale skin that was constantly hidden underneath long sleeves and jumpers. It was mottled black and purple with angry bruises.  The ones from last night were still in the first stages, and she could clearly make out the rounded curve of Stephen’s finger on her skin. It was bright and azure against her skin, a dark blue colour against the thousand blacks and yellows. Violet rolled down her sleeve and squeezed back a tear. Closing her eyes didn’t help - she could still see the blue bruises, feel them welling up on her shoulders, flowers blossoming into a bouquet.

“Something old, something new, something borrowed...something blue.”


Friday, 20 April 2012

Oh. My. Cheese.

It's finished. It took nine months, 342 pages, 105,000 words, 42 chapters and a heck of a lot of effort, but Wolfbane is finally finished. And for some strange and crazy reason, I can't even feel happy.

Last night, after the last word had been typed, I just sat at my computer. I was dazed, I was startled and I could barely remember how I had gotten there. To that last word. To that last page. To Olly hitching the bow up his back and saying, "To echo your wise words of wisdom  - let's do this." It was so sudden. I hadn't expected it to just stop. I thought there would be a build up, a climax. But there wasn't. There was only silence, broken by the sound of the dishwasher on downstairs.

I wandered around for about half and hour in a daze before remembering I was meant to be having a shower. I went in the shower and halfway through shampooing my hair, it hit me. I wouldn't be coming home, sitting at my computer and writing any more. Nine months of my life had just ended (ironic, considering the book is like my child). Lexie, Olly, Sam and Lewis would cease to exist, as would Xavier and The General. They would be dead. Gone. Kaput. I wouldn't be able to make Olly's heart race, or Lexie clench her fists, or Xavier say something hugely sarcastic and insulting. It was like a punch to the stomach. Needless to say, I started hyperventilating and choking back tears. I felt elated, joyous, but also crushed and deflated. I wanted to keep writing it. I needed to keep writing it. But I wouldn't be able to. It was finished.

That is why there are no emoticons or smileys or exclamation points in the title, or anywhere in this post. I'm not happy that I'm finished. I'm proud of myself, but I'm not happy. I'm sad. Lexie and Olly have become my friends; The General and Xavier my worst enemies.

But despite my semi-depression, I need to thank you. My readers, and you in particular. Without you I probably never would have written 'Lexie', and you wouldn't have said it was great and persuaded me to turn it into something bigger - much bigger. Without you, I probably would have stopped writing altogether. It was you that pulled me through. So thank you.

I would also like to send a big, massively huge shoutout to my best friend Rose, whom you may know as the writer-in-residence of Mad Roses and Oopsy Daises. If you haven't read her stuff, go do so. Now. The power of mind control compels you! Anyway, I met Rose at Pushkin (she won the comp, if you didn't know) and we clicked automatically. We spent the bus ride up asking each other questions and the bus ride down, five days later, singing MCR songs at the top of our lungs. She is my friend, comforter, supporter and mentor. She is also the biggest kick up the backside I will ever need, and I thank her for that. If she didn't exist, Wolfbane would have stopped at Chapter 7.

Thank you, to Rose and to my readers. Blogging will resume as normal on Monday with a new story for y'all to enjoy. Until then, have a good weekend.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A little hiatus, I'm afraid.

Yes. It says it all in the title. Jenni's Tales is going to take a little break - just for a week or two until I get Wolfbane finished, which hopefully won't be very long now :D I'm nearing the climax, and I swear to the God of Writing that once my novel is finished I will be back here, with stories and snippets of my novel. Until then, goodbye, shalom, au revoir, auf weidersehen! I'll be back soon, I promise!

P.S. Here is a pic of Lexie's right eye to keep you happy. I might be posting some stuff about her, her brothers, The General, Olly, Matt and Xavier (so many characters!) here after I get back :D

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Feral Boy 7

Hello there! Not much to say, except from the fact that I am at my grans and finally able to eat chocolate! I was off chocolate for Lent, so to be able to eat it again is amazing. Anyway, I hope you enjoy Feral 7 (ohmylord, how did it get this far?!)

The Feral Boy 7

The blade went into his jacket, and for a moment he looked startled. Everything slowed down - her breathing, the other guard’s moment of realisation, his eyes flicking to Javen. The guard’s eyes widened and he staggered backwards, pulling the knife out of his body. Amelia glanced at it. It was dry and she looked back at the guard. He was smiling and grabbing his gun off the floor. A bulletproof vest. She was an idiot. Of course they would wear protection. Amelia took a step backwards, her legs bent into a fighting stance. The guard picked up his gun. Around him, the others were turning on her, priming their guns, and on the floor, Javen was staring up at her, his mouth open and his forehead lined with sweat and dirt. He was mouthing something. “Run...”

Amelia paused. No. She wouldn’t. She had been running for too long. From her father, from the police, god, even from her own emotions. She had to fight her corner. Amelia narrowed her eyes and turned to face Javen. 

“No.”

Javen look shocked and started to say something, but his comment was interrupted by the click of  bullet sliding into the barrel of a gun. Amelia jerked forward, the knife in her hand. The face. It wasn’t protected. If she could hit that, then she might have a chance of winning. Amelia concentrated her sights on the guard nearest to her. He was cocking his gun in place and raising up to meet his narrowed, steely grey eyes. She only had one chance. It was time to take it.

Amelia darted forward and struck the man square between the eyes with the butt of the knife. She sprawled backwards and dropped his gun. Amelia reached down and kicked it towards Javen. “Use it!” She faced the guard again and primed herself. She was ready to fight.

The guards around her were either tending to the one she had just hit or standing around uneasily, their guns pointed at her, but their fingers hovering over the trigger. They were scared, nervous. Amelia could see the thought running through their startled, confused minds - Could they kill a little girl? Could they do that? Amelia heard Javen stand up behind her. He walked up to her and pressed the gun into her shoulder blade. He leaned in close to her ear. “Run on three.” Amelia opened her mouth to protest, but Javen’s hands were tightening round his gun and she could feel his anger towards these men. He was inexperienced with a gun...maybe it would be better if she ran. “Three, two...one!”

Amelia ran, her legs whipping out behind her. She could hear Javen firing a few shots behind her, and as she ran past the guard that had been kicking Javen she thrust the knife into his thigh. There was a dull thud as he collapsed, and the guards started shouting and firing. They seemed less nervous to shoot at Javen. Figured. Amelia ran faster. She could hear the lasered bullets passing behind her, whistling through the air, and the guards shouting abuse, and yelling at their comrades. There was a scream as one of the bullets hit their target, but it wasn’t the low pitched yelp of Javen. Amelia almost smiled as she whipped round a corner. Yes! Three down, two to go. Through the din, she heard Javen’s footsteps join her own. A few seconds later, and he was running alongside her, the gun gone from his hands.

“Well...that was...fun,” he panted. His flicked his long hair to the side and turned down a corridor to the right. The remaining guards had started running behind them, their footsteps slowed, heavy and laboured behind them. 
Amelia smiled. “Yup. Take a...left here. It’s where I came in.” Javen nodded and turned down the corridor. The doors. They burst through them and Amelia felt relief wash over her. It was good to finally see something she recognized. She glanced around the corridor. They had come out at a different door. “There. The vent. We have to go through that!”  Javen looked at her in disbelief.

“How are we meant to get up there?”

“Foot holds.” Amelia ran up to the wall and ran her fingers over the bricks. There were no foot holds, no cracks that she could use. She glanced at Javen beside her, who was staring at her, his eyes wide, echoing that of his father’s - full of determination and fear. “Push me up, and then I’ll pull you up.”

Javen looked pained for a moment, but Amelia knew there was no way he could be chivalrous here. The guard’s footsteps were getting louder and louder - despite the fact they were weighed down by heavy batons and guns, they could still run fast. “Fine.” Javen folded his hands into a cup and let Amelia stand on them. He thrust her upwards and her skinny fingers latched onto the edge of the vent. She clambered up the wall and into the vent. It seemed tighter than it was earlier, but she could still wriggle around in it. She passed a hand down to Javen, who was glancing backwards every couple of seconds. “Take my hand!”

Javen blinked and grabbed Amelia’s hand. She yanked him upwards and then froze. The guards had suddenly turned round the corner and they were staring at them, their eyes narrow and hard. The two of them smirked and with a wink, they pointed their guns and fired.

A bullet shot past Amelia’s head and buried its way into the concrete, melting it into a gloop. That was what the bullets did. Super heated in the gun chamber, they could go through anything, melt anything. Get shot by one and it turned your skin and bone to a crisp. Another bullet whizzed past Javen, moving his hair, and Amelia unfroze from her trance. She pulled with all her might, and Javen scrambled up the wall and into the tunnel.

Javen twisted round and pushed Amelia forward as soon as he got into the vent. “Move!”  His eyes were wide and angry, and the side of his face was coated with a thick layer of sticky, congealed blood. “The guards! Move, Amelia!”

Amelia crawled forward and wriggled up the long thin tube. She could feel the heat of the bullets over and above her, zooming into the concrete and turning it to soup. She crawled faster. They would get their aim right at some point, and when they did, Javen would have to bear the brunt of it. She moved faster, keeping one foot pointed behind her, touching Javen’s arm gently. She tilted her head up, and looked down the tunnel. She could just see a pinprick of light. Yes! The exit. She hurried towards it, every muscle in her body straining towards that tiny line, that tiny mark of hope. “Javen! I can see it! The exit! I can see it!”

Javen let out a muffled reply and Amelia smiled. They were going to make it. They were going to escape! After all that, they were going to live, to survive, to prosper! Amelia crawled faster in the tunnel, her head bouncing off the metal . The bullets had stopped flying and the sizzling sound of them hitting the concrete had ceased. The guards were still audible though - shouting and swearing, talking into their walkie talkies. The stopped talking for a moment and then Amelia heard the sound of footsteps hitting off the floor. They were running away! To help their injured friends maybe, or to receive back up, but still - it was one less thing to worry about. Amelia glanced up and saw that the pinprick of light had gotten larger, showing the rectangular hole of the vent, where she had kicked the grate away. She squinted. It had been dark when they arrived - just after midnight. Surely they weren’t in the compound for that long. 

Amelia wriggled forward a bit more and then stopped. The light was blinding, shining through the entire rectangle with astonishing brightness. There was a buzzing noise and suddenly the sound of a dog barking. 

Amelia’s eyes widened as Fluffy’s muzzle pushed into the grate. Her throat went dry. No, no, no, they had got too far for it all to be broken and destroyed now. The German Sheppard’s  teeth were bared and it’s eyes glinted in the harsh light. It swayed to the side, and Amelia caught a glimpse of metal shining from under the light. It was a floodlight - the one they used to light the stadiums after the weekly football games. The dog barked and a man’s voice shouted to his mates. Guards. This was it. They had been found. They had been caught.

 Amelia felt all the colour drain from her face. All of that work, all of that effort. All for nothing. She heard 
Javen’s voice, faint and dim in her narrowed view of despair asking her what was wrong. She ignored him and stared dumbly ahead. This was it. It was all over. Javen’s dad would be killed and she would be put in jail for aiding a Unregistered. Her parents would disown her - she would be nothing. But Javen, Javen would be sentenced to death. Amelia’s heart sank into her stomach, filled with blackness and grey shadows. He was as good as dead. She couldn’t let that happen. But what could she do? She and gotten him out, but now they were trapped. There was nowhere they could go, nothing she could do. She turned to face him, her face gaunt and pale, ghostly in the light. “Javen. They know we’re here.”

Javen gulped, but he seemed rather calm. “Are there any other side vents?”

Amelia shook her head. “No.” She could hear Fluffy straining at his collar, yelping and barking over the guards’ hurried speech. They were deliberating - wait until they come out, or send Fluffy in to get them. Amelia felt a lump rise in her throat. “We’re trapped.” Amelia wished she could cry, anything but the hopeless despair, that bottomless fear filling up inside her. “Javen, they’re going to get us.”

Javen’s face paled and he started shaking. He tried to stop the tremors, to hide the terror in his eyes, but it welled up inside them, turning the brown into a hallowed, dull wood. His hand snaked out and grabbed Amelia’s. 

“It’s fine. We’ll be fine. Don’t worry.” Amelia nodded and looked back towards the grate. The light had dimmed a bit, and the dog was now clearly visible. The guards behind it had reached an agreement, and they were now gathering around the outside of the vent, their guns pointed at the whole. The one that was holding Fluffy loosened his grip. This was it. This was the end. Amelia squeezed Javen’s hand and closed her eyes. She could hear the dogs heavy breathing coupled with Javen’s short, sharp breaths of hidden fear. She relaxed her shoulders, and as Fluffy bolted out of his handler’s hands, she whispered, “I love you.”

The pain was sharp and instantaneous. The dog bit her arm and pulled her out of the tunnel. It’s teeth were like daggers, and Amelia wished she hadn’t thrown the knife away as the searing hot pain raced down her leg. She could feel blood fall down her leg and onto the floor, only to be smeared on her clothes. She clenched her fists and bit her tongue to stop her from screaming. These men weren’t going to get any sign of weakness. They had done enough to her already - she wasn’t going to be humiliated.

Fluffy threw her on the ground and ran back into the tunnel to get Javen. Amelia just lay on her back, the sharp stones scattered over the concrete digging into her back. Her leg felt like it was on fire, and every breath she took intensified the pain. She heard Javen scream as the dog bit down on his leg. She winced at the noise and kept her eyes closed. She was vaguely aware of a man pushing her forward, kicking her side, but she could barely feel it. Flashes of pink and purple splashed on her eyelids, a myriad of colours and shapes spilling out in front of her. She heard a thump beside her and a hand wrap around her. “Amelia?” Javen’s voice was croaky and hushed. “Amelia? It’s going to be ok...” He let out a sigh and he stopped talking. Another voice filled the air.

“Amelia? Amelia!”

Amelia tired to sit up, but she felt as though a weight was on her chest, pushing her down. She felt her hand loosen as something shot into her arm. It wasn’t a bullet - it was lighter and sharper, a prick rather than a stab. All her muscles went lax and she felt the world spiralling away from her. Everything was going black, and the sound of the voices around her drifted away, pebbles washed out to sea.

“Get away, she’s my daughter! Amelia, Amelia! What the hell did you do to her? She’s my daughter! Help me get her in my car...yes, I’ll take the boy too. Just hurry! Oh, my baby....It’s ok, it’s ok...”

Amelia felt someone lift her up, and a tear drop onto her cheek. “D-Da-a...” She opened her mouth and then everything went silent, and a sheet of black fell over her eyes.



Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Feral Boy 6

Hello! I don't have much to say today, other than the fact that last night, Wolfbane hit 80,000 words! :D I never thought I'd get this far, and without you guys, I'd probably have given up by now. Also, my number of views has sky-rocketed to 11000! I can't believe it :O
Anyway, before I start hyperventilating, you'd better get your weekly dose of The Feral Boy. A little reminder - if you want to read the Feral Boy series, check out the Book Reviews and Stories Page! I've catalogued all of my stories there, so if you're in need of read, just choose whatever takes your fancy!

The Feral Boy 6

She reached the cell in less than two minutes. Henry was hunched at the back of it, but he leapt up and smiled when he saw Amelia. It was heartbreaking watching his eyes scour the corridor, looking for some sign of his son. Amelia took a step forward and wrapped her arms round the bars. “I’m sorry, but he didn’t come. He-he didn’t believe me when I said you where here.”

“Oh.” Javen’s dad sagged and the smile vanished from his face. His face drooped and Amelia noticed a sheen of tears over his eyes. “Oh.”

“I can still get you out though. And then we can go and get him together, ok?” The man nodded, but his head was buried deep in his chest and his breathing bounced up and down, dancing to an irregular beat. His eyes were squeezed shut and he was murmuring something under his breath. A moment passed and he looked up. The bottoms of his eyes were puffy and red and there were red lines curving around his irises, pencil lines on a sheet of blank paper.

“Ok. Do you have a crowbar or something? How did you get Javen out?” His voice stuck over his son’s name, and he looked ready to cry when it finally came out. Amelia felt a rush of sympathy. How horrible must it be to the father of someone who thought you were dead? Someone who was so set on the fact, he didn’t hold on to any hope that you might be alive, someone who had abandoned any optimism a long time ago. Amelia could see the man’s heart twist and writhe in his chest, full of sadness and remorse over his son’s dismissal. Amelia gave a weak smile. The least she could do was get him out before the guards came.

“We got out with a bar, but I left it back at his cage. I know how he did it though. We just need some leverage.” Amelia glanced behind her. If there was one metal bar lying around, surely there would be more? The cages behind her had no gaps between them, so they’re couldn’t be anything in there. Amelia’s eyes flitted over the cages, looking for a glimpse of metal. There was nothing. Exasperated, she turned back to Henry. “I can’t see anything. But there has to be something. There has to be.”

Javen's dad shrugged. His hand was massaging the lump in his pocket. “Give it up. You tried. Just tell Javen I love him, ok? Not that he’ll believe you.” He slumped backwards against the cell wall. “It’s pointless, you know. Everything. I should be dead, but I’m not, am I? I didn’t want to sign their stupid agreement, the one that orders me to pray to a God I don’t believe in, the one that made me laugh at things I didn’t find funny and fight for things I hated. And look where that got me?  In here, with a bunch of other rule-breakers. There are more of us than you think. We’re not all just feral in here. I mix with murderers and thieves, with arsonists and frauds. We’re the scum of the earth, but the truth is, most of us haven’t done anything wrong. We just ended up in the wrong circumstances - hungry, poor and looking for shelter. That’s why they steal, why they burn, why they kill. To survive. It’s a mad, animal world out there, full of primitive violence and primeval instincts. They say we’re feral. But we’re not - they are.”

He sighed and reached into his pocket, pulling out the lump he had been stroking during his speech. It was red and small, about the size of a phone. Henry pressed a button and a blade popped out. Amelia stared. “A penknife? But they were banned two years ago? Ho-how did you get one?”

Javen’s dad smiled weakly and ran his finger over the blade, heavy enough to leave a faint red mark on his mottled skin, but lightly enough for it to fade almost instantly. “Murderers and thieves, murderers and thieves.” 
He grinned and ran his hand over the blade again, heavier this time. A bead of blood popped out from the skin, gently tricking down his wrist, a crimson stream over chalky hallowed rocks. “I got this a few years back when I first came here. I thought that one day I might use it to...you know...” He mimed slitting his throat and Amelia cowered backwards. Her ears were trained behind her, listening for the footsteps to get louder. They had slowed a few seconds ago, and Amelia couldn’t help but wonder if it was because they had caught Javen. The thought made her feel sick.

“But I didn’t,” Javen’s dad continued. “Instead I kept it, biding my time. I tried picking the lock with it, but it was no use. Too small and delicate for the big locks.” He sighed again and tinkered with the knife in his palm. 

“Anyway, I was wondering, if you would take it. Goodness knows, I’m not getting out of here...”

“Don’t say that. I’ll get you out.”

Javen’s dad held up a hand to stop her. Like father, like son. “No. My time is coming; you and Javen are the priority now. Take the knife, and this.” He paused and then reached up. His hand curled around a lock of his hair and with a slashing action, he sliced a chunk of it off. He passed the knife and the hair through to Amelia, who was too stunned and desperate to refuse them. “Take the hair to Javen. Maybe then he’ll believe you.” 

He smiled, but his eyes were dull and tired looking. “Thanks for everything. I might be able to die happy now.” He sighed again. “I’m just glad he’s alive.”

The footsteps had started again and Amelia’s whole body was tense and coiled like a spring. Every ounce of her being was screaming t o run, but she couldn’t. “I can’t leave you here.”

Javen’s dad stood up, towering to his full height. “I’ve been on my own for years. Another five minutes isn’t going to make a difference. Now, go, for goodness sake. You can’t do anything for me!”

Amelia took a faltering step back. He was right. She couldn’t do anything for him, couldn’t help him at all. 

She bowed her head. “Thank you, Henry.”

“The feeling is mutual. Now, go!” He gave her a little push backwards and that was all she needed. Her legs started flying beneath her and she was off, sprinting down the dark corridor, hair in one hand and a penknife in the other.

The footsteps of the guards had started again, but it was impossible to tell where they were coming from. Amelia turned a corner. She needed to find Javen as quickly as possible, before the guards did. It was vital. She had to. Amelia paused at a junction and then turned right, down an identical corridor to the one she just came down. The hall was larger than she first thought. Maybe all those doors had been leading into just one hall? That would explain it. There was no way ten or so of these rooms could fit underground.

Amelia skidded to a stop and listened. The sound of the footsteps was louder, meaning the guards were closer. A though popped into Amelia’s head. If the guards were looking for Javen, then maybe, just maybe...She had to follow them. They knew their way around better than she did, and they would be able to find him quicker.  But there were they? Amelia glanced to her right and then her left. The noise seemed to be coming from everywhere around her, echoing around her, filling the air with thunderous footsteps. Where were they?! Amelia bit her lip. She had to move. She closed her eyes and tilted her head to the side. The left. They were coming from the left. She could hear them perfectly with her eyes closed. Why? Amelia opened her eyes and started running down the left corridor. She had no time to question - only run.

Amelia sprinted along the corridor, trying to face left at each turn she took. She could hear the footsteps getting louder and louder as she ran. They were getting close! And the guards seemed to be standing still. Had they found him already?  It couldn’t be long until they found Javen, not if they had multiple patrols like she thought. Amelia kept running. They had to be near. They had to. Am Amelia sprinted round a corner and froze. The guards.

They were five of them, standing at the bottom of the corridor, dressed in dark blue khaki. Their guns were pushed over the shoulders, bar one, who was pointing his gun at the ground and shouting abuse. Their faces were twisted in disgust and horror and they all seemed engrossed in whatever the man with the gun was pointing at. Amelia could hear her heart beat in her chest - a mixture of fear for herself and terror for the thing on the ground.  She knew what it was - it couldn’t be anything else. Amelia took a breath and reached down into her pocket. She dumped the hair in it, and tightened her grip on the penknife. Any moment now and the guards would turn round and see her. Their guns would come sliding off their shoulders and the lasered bullets would come soaring out, shooting through the air and hitting her square on the chest. She would be dead. Javen would be dead. Amelia felt her heart harden and her fear fall away, only to be replaced with determination and anger. She had to reach them first. She had to get them before they got her.

Amelia took a step forward, overly aware of the sound of her shoes hitting the concrete. She blended into the background, her black outfit indistinguishable from the dim corridors behind her. She took another step - still no reaction. She took another step and another, moving into a jog. The guards were blind to her actions, still concentrating on the thing on the floor. Stopping, she moved to the side and peered into the darkness. It was Javen alright. That mop of hair, the ragged clothes.  It seemed strange that in a few minutes he could get himself beaten down like that. The man with the gun was still shouting at him and Javen was wincing. The man was standing on his chest, and his foot was hovering a few centimetres off the ground. Amelia felt her blood boil. No. NO. Not Javen, not him, not her best friend, her only friend, not ever! The man was grinning and his foot was moving closer and closer to Javen’s side. NO. She jerked forward, but it was too late. The foot had crunched into Javen’s side. Sending him sprawling backwards, and howling in pain. “NO!”

Amelia was barely aware she had spoken. Her face flushed red and she leapt forward, her hand tight around the penknife. Every ounce of her body and soul was concentrated on Javen. Her heart was tugging at its veins, willing her to keep running, to hurt the man that hurt Javen.  The emotions welling up inside her didn’t feel normal - they were stronger, more powerful, angrier than anything she had ever felt before. She ran past the other guards, her hair flying behind her and catching one of them behind the ear.  She hurtled towards the guard, and clicking the knife open, thrust her arm into the guard’s chest.

Monday, 2 April 2012

How I Write - Point of View

Hello everyone :D How are we all doing? Just before I begin today's lesson (teehee) a quick reminder - if you haven't seen it already, I posted Feral 5 up on Thursday! Comments would be greatly appreciated :)




A very, very brief introduction
Ok, to begin, I want everyone to pick up a book and open it at the first page. Read it and tell me - does the narrator use 'I' or 'he/she'? That is point of view, or POV for short. 'I' is first person and 'he/she' is third person and that's all you need to know...pretty much....
One of the more confusing things in writing is choosing a POV. Both have their pros and cons and both work for different people. I for one tend to swap between them, depending on my mood, or how it'll affect my story.


First Person
Ah, first person. it used to be that no books were written in first person, and if they were, not many people bought them. And then Stephanie Meyer wrote Twilight in first person and BAM! first person went back into fashion. Open a Y.A book and 8 times out of ten it will be written in first person. But what makes it so great?

Well, first off, first person POV brings the reader closer into the story. If you are telling a story from the narrators eyes, everything is going to be big and personal, all the action seems will seem more realistic and the description will come alive. Everything the narrator feels, the reader feels too.

Secondly, first person POV means you see inside a characters head. You know what the narrator is thinking all the time. If Sophia sees her boyfriend with someone else you know how she feels - you can feel her anger, her betrayal. This is harder to get in third person.

However, first person has it's drawbacks. You end up constantly beginning a sentence with 'I' which can be annoying. You have no idea what's going on other than what the narrator sees and you can't see other's people's thoughts or emotions. And unless the narrator had a unique 'voice' (the way they speak eg do they talk in dialect? Do they think in an accent? Are they a child, and use simplistic language. Yeah, stuff like that.) it can get boring quickly.

Third Person
Third person had always been the starting point for many writers, especially novelists. With third person POV you don;t have to come up with a unique voice, you can see everything (although it depends on what third person you choose - more on that in a moment) Yup. It's great and many writers use it when they need to get information across that the narrator won't see/doesn't know.

Before I continue with how good/bad third person is, let me elaborate on the brackets. There are actually a few types of third person POV. Confusing I know, but listen. The first type is the one I'm using to write Wolfbane. It goes like this. Instead of seeing everything, you see only one person's thought and feelings. It's like first person except more removed. Here's an example (extract from my book!!)


The General strode out of the plane onto the hot tarmac beneath. He lifted his kit bag higher on his shoulders and turned to wait for Xavier. The stupid boy had been sick on the journey - he was obviously weaker than The General had once hoped. No matter. He could be re-trained.

Now, I could re-write this in first person.

I strode out of the plane onto the hot tarmac beneath. I lifted my kit bag higher and waited for Xavier. The stupid boy had been sick on the journey - he was obviously weaker than I had once hoped. No matter. He could be re-trained.

See, piece of cake! I like this POV because it means you can see into someone's head without having 'I' all the time.

The second type of third person is one that you can see everything and hear everything - this is called and OMNISCIENT narrator. You know what everyone is thinking and doing. You are a God. The drawback to this is that it can sometimes confuse the reader if you don;t put it across clearly enough. Unfortunately I don't have an example to show you...

Second Person
Ok, so there's one POV that I haven't covered, mainly because no one uses it, it's jerky and awkward and everyone hates it. Second person. When instead of 'I' or 'he/she' you use 'you.'

You sit at the table and stir your soup. A waiter comes up to you and asks what you want to eat. You ask for the pasta and the waiter leaves your table.

I've written a story in second person, and I quite like it. Click here if you haven't read it. However, if you want to write a novel or even a short story over about 3 pages, you shouldn't use second person. You read the sentences above. It's like pulling teeth! You can;t see what everyone else is thinking, and unless you tell the reader to feel something, you can't express thoughts or emotions either. Useless. Utterly useless.


And that's all you need to know about POV. Choosing one can be difficult, but most of the time, it just pops into place. And if you write something and don't like it, change the POV. It can open up a whole new dimension to your story and help you move it along. Good luck!