Evelyn had been visited by the monster every night since she was ten years old. For three years she had learned many ways to cope. The first coping mechanism was to keep her eyes closed. Seeing was believing and she did not want to believe in monsters. The second was to remain completely still and to pretend to be asleep, so as not to anger the monster. She had learned that the hard way when it had all begun. She had cried and screamed for her mummy to help her, but found only the monsters fist slammed into her face as a response and her mummy never came. The third way to cope was the most important, and that was to go far, far away in her mind. She would visit great places, faraway lands she had read of in books. She would imagine she was a brave heroine saving a troubled kingdom, or a great adventurer trekking through a mysterious forest. But, deep down part of her always remained with the monster as he fed and devoured her.
I have done very little writing over the past couple of weeks. I thought having my new laptop would push me into over eager excitement when it came to Evelyn & The Shadowman. It has not. I have been reading allot and after reading Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’, my brain has just caved in. Then I read my good friend, https://chelecooke.wordpress.com/ ‘Teeth’ along side some rp posts by some other friends and am just feeling rather useless. I am not sure I am good enough. Make no mistake, writing is hard and I always knew that and yet, currently the fun has gone. Is that normal? I know I should just start typing and get the rest of Evelyn & The Shadowman down on paper, but I have so many ideas and so many worries nothing is working.
In October I start my second year of university with the Open University, the October module is Creative writing and I had a dream last night in which my writing was given a fail by my university lecturer. This has certainly dampened my mood and I sit here, coffee in hand finding solace in tumblr. The Idea’s are there, the character’s are there but part of me misses being the ten year old girl who wrote, without worry of being criticized.
I am struggling with writing first, editing later. Part of me has always been a perfectionist, a planner, with mild OCD’s when it come’s to my daily life and how I approach things. I am finding it very hard to just write, and not fix errors when I see them, it physically pains me. But there is always a voice, in the back of my head, muddled between the hundreds of character voices, whispering now and again, “You can do better.”
I am my own worst critiquing nightmare. Should I give Evelyn a break and work on something else? Or is that me trying to justify giving up. Writing is hard, but does it being hard mean it should stop being fun?
I did a solid hour of writing today! I have written more previously, but got a important scene down and out of my head, which brought instant relief to the tense muscles that had formed in my shoulders. As I have said before I write backwards. I write the introduction part of the plot, then the ending and then work backwards. I had been suffering self doubt, but zooming out and seeing what I had accomplished while wrangling a child, a university degree and running a home brought a great sense of pride in my accomplishment.
I will celebrate with a coffee and catching up on some reading.
A snippet from the first chapter of Evelyn and The Shadowman. This is the first draft, which for me is all about telling myself the story before editing it for the reader.
She could not move. No matter how she tried, even her bare feet could not wiggle a single toe. She was frozen beneath the immense power of the shadow man, sinking further against the mattress as he pushed her down. She felt his shadowing cold hands snake up her body and was sure they had long talons for nails. Then, his breath her he cold cheek and she clenched her jaw, biting the inside of her cheek to still her fearful moan. There are no such things as monsters. There are no such things, no such things…
His tongue snaked out and she felt its wetness upon her cheek, and through tightly closed eyes tears began to spill until suddenly-
“You’d best be in bed you little shit! Don’t want that teacher telling me you gone and fallen asleep in class again!”
As soon as her mothers slurred and billowing voice carried up the stairs, the weight vanished from on top of her. She heard the soft creek of her bedroom door open and close before the air cleared and she opened her eyes,
“I’m in bed!” She managed to call out, fighting back the growing lump in her throat as she wiped away her tears. Her mother did not answer, nor come up the stairs to check and she heard footsteps below return to the kitchen . Now, alone once more in her bedroom, Evelyn frantically scanned around her stark room and pulled the threadbare blankets to beneath her chin. The Shadow Man was gone. For now.