“You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby” Blogfest


The Writer’s Hole, “You’ve come a long way, Baby” Blogfest is today. Click over and help Christine celebrate by showing everyone how much you’ve progressed as a writer. Sounds easy, right? I’m proud of how far I’ve come, but can’t believe I’m about to post this for the world to see. AH!

Deep breath. Deep breath. Here I go. This is an excerpt from my adult paranormal “Bloodlines” I started more than five years ago:

Spring brought with it the vitality of new life. The trees grew lush with green leaves. Exotic flowers released their fragrance on the gentle breeze. Beauty flourished every where except in the heart of Tasaria Blest who trekked the mountain side.

By moon and lantern light, she climbed over rocks and boulders as she made her way around the mountain in search of an entrance. The thought of what she was about to do set her nerves on end. She felt safe in the moonlight, but once she entered the mountain, the darkness would swallow her.

She tried to remember what it was like before she was afraid of the dark. A time when she welcomed the night and all of its shadows. When she enjoyed skinny dipping in the river basked in moonlight. And it work for a few minutes, but then she saw his face.

Just then, she tripped over a stick and fell forward. She caught her balance before she hit the ground and broke the lantern. She held the lantern up high and glanced around. Up ahead in the distance, she spotted the red scarf she’d tied to a tree days ago. She tried not to let herself feel discouraged as she sat on a boulder to rest.

Okay, not as bad as I thought. The revision….

The stench of death clung to the air. Old death, but not decay. Absolute darkness made it impossible to see anything. The sound of something sharp and hard scraped against stone. Where am I? A cave? A mausoleum? Not knowing made the blackness suffocating. I wasn’t alone. Something lurked nearby. Something that I couldn’t see, yet it set off every internal alarm.

I needed to get out of there. A pair of red eyes flared a few yards away. I stumbled back and landed hard against a jagged surface that cut into my elbow. I winced, but managed to stay quiet. It didn’t matter. The red glow crept closer.

I jolted to back to reality, drenched in sweat. Part of me wanted to summon the trance again to interpret the meaning of the vision. The other part needed sunshine to wash away the lingering sensations. The latter won.

Just as the sun broke the horizon, I rushed to my place of solace, my garden and studied the bright colored flowers and vegetables. Long, deep breaths brought with them the sweet aroma of roses. The soft babble of Moose River filled my mind as I knelt to dig my bare hands into the soil. This is real – the cool dirt, the tiny pieces of gravel, the worms.

Obviously, I switched from third to first person. It felt right for this piece. I learned about using other senses (sense of smell, sound, touch) to bring a story to life. There’s more showing, less telling.

Okay, your turn. How much/how have you improved your writing over the years? If you decide to participate this Blogfest, please leave something in the comments below so I can click over to your blog.

31 comments on ““You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby” Blogfest

  1. The first person POV of the second passage definitely works well, but you create a nice base in the original. You clearly have a skill for revision!

  2. the second version pulled me in right away, as did the first line. great job.

  3. Marsha Lytle says:

    I really like the progress you’ve made on this story. Hopefully we will get back to it in writer’s group soon.

  4. Nice progression! The second piece certainly had more tension & a darker tone–cool!!!!

  5. I love experimenting with narration choices. The first person version of this excerpt was definitely stronger, in part because I felt a more intimate connection to the narrator. Also, I noticed the use of scent and sound descriptions in the second, which heightened my reading experience. Well done!

    Best of luck with this project!

  6. A. Grey says:

    I liked the second one much better. I feel like it was more ‘show’ and less ‘tell’ while the first one felt contrived in places. That said, there were parts of the first one that did create great tension and the line ‘She felt safe in the moonlight, but once she entered the mountain, the darkness would swallow her.’ was GREAT. Totally LOVE that!

  7. Yeah, very good selections. The 1st POV second selection definitely pulled me in more. The descriptions were more vivid as well.

  8. Dawn Embers says:

    Interesting to see someone who switched the other way (3rd to 1st). Both have interesting elements. I think the first, for me, felt a little disconnected. The first paragraph or so could have been in a literary fiction type story while the rest had that creepier element that I think you were going for. The second version starts off with that feeling and everything begins at a much higher state of awareness. Great entry!

    • Thank you, Dawn.

      So, that’s why the first version didn’t work for me. I liked it, but knew something felt off about it. You nailed the reason, it reads like two different genres. Where were you four years ago?

  9. Christine H says:

    I really like the ending of the revision. It provides a very tactile experience for the reader to connect with the main character. Thanks so much for participating! if you want to read the rest of the entries, just go to my blog and click on the names of the people who signed up. That will take you to their web pages.

    • Thanks Christine. I’ve already visited the other blogs and left comments for those who’ve already uploaded their old/new material. Thanks so much for hosting this. What an awesome idea.

  10. kellyhashway says:

    You’re very brave. I’d be terrified to share some of my earlier work! I love the revision. First person definitely works better. A lot more showing is a huge plus, too. Great job!

  11. Nice first draft, and nice revision!

  12. Elaine says:

    Yowzer! You have come a long way. Your revisions put the heart and the flame into the piece. First person works better. You have mastered that “show don’t tell” thing too. Great job!

  13. Donna Hole says:

    Wow; that second version was so intense, and changed the dynamic of what I expect from the novel itself. I liked the POV change. It felt natural.

    I posted an excerpt of early writing before I knew how to “show” not tell. It is gruesome.

    • Then I have accomplished what I set out to do. Good to hear it sounds natural, there’s always a risk in shifting POV.

      I’ll head over to your blog and check it out. Thanks for letting me know.

  14. Charli Mac says:

    Love the opening in the second and the last line of inner reflection about the worms. Gives it all a morbid feel and works really well. First person POV really gives more presense in the scene. Bravo.

  15. Jessie says:

    Natasha – well done on the revisions! I’m not sure I even could find a 3 year old version of Destined to post. Maybe I should’ve kept it, but I know my writing now is a huge improvement … mostly by going to conferences and constantly learning more. (And thanks for grabbing our Oasis badge – awesome!!)

  16. […] something you’ve already written that, to you, shows the nature of magic. I’m using another excerpt from my adult paranormal romance “Bloodlines” in which my MC uses homeopathy + magic to […]

  17. […] love my new adult paranormal WiP, DARK INTENT (excerpts here and here). Sometimes, the words flow from your fingertips and onto the keyboard. Unfortunately, […]

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