Friday, August 11, 2017

First Draft Friday: Even More Romance

First Draft Friday

Trying out a new idea for a post series where every Friday I post a rough draft. In my mind, this will something similar to my NaNoWriMo post but maybe less intense and only one day a week. The purpose is the same though: to encourage other writers. More often than not, we only get to see a finished polished version of fiction writing and it's very easy to get discouraged by their quality, even though we know, logically, whatever we're reading has a horrible first draft too. In my first draft posts, I want to share my first drafts as they are written more or less out of my brain. I say more or less because if I wrote the first draft longhand, then I'm usually going to clean it up a little bit or make all new mistakes or bad decisions as I type it up.

I very rarely write a story in order, from beginning to end straight through. The closest I get to doing so is when I write short stories. However, I rarely finish short stories anymore because I get stuck half way through and there isn't much space to jump around in these plot lines. "Romance" is a little different. A lot of my short stories start with an idea I have for an opening, I don't know much else beyond the beginning. I simply travel through the rest of the story like I'm looking for a light switch in the dark. For Romance, I knew the opening and the climax. I've written the opening, I'm stuck in the middle action, and so I've decided to skip ahead to the climax of the main conflict, not long before the end.

Apparently, I'm really focused on this story right now. Every time I have a second to write, I end up adding more. At the same time, I don't know what will become of it, if it has a middle, if any of it makes sense. I'm just exploring a lot of things, a recurring theme. So, I guess I'm just gonna keep writing to see how it goes.

Please enjoy another first draft extract from "Romance". If you'd like to read the opening, click here. If you'd to read the previous extract, click here.

first draft, incomplete,  680 words
By Stephanie Thompson

"I'm so glad you texted," Heather started.

Misty's resolve softened when she saw her splotchy, reddened features but there was nothing else to be done. She had to be firm, clear, and resolute.

"Come in," she said. "Have a seat. Would you like some tea or something?"

Resolute didn't mean rude.

"Tea? Tea would be nice," Heather answered while trying to tamp her rising hope. She's only being kind she reminded her heart because reasonably she knew there would be no reconciliation. Mysti hadn't hugged her, couldn't even look her in the eye. Mysti hadn't hugged her, couldn't even look her in the eye. She hadn't invited her over to get back together. This was sympathy tea, goodbye tea.

Mysti came back to the living room with tea cups clattering in their saucers. The scent of hot black, sweet tea nested comfortably with musky spice scent of Mysti's perfume. Heather wanted to nest there too, bury her nose in it, let the comfort warmth there overwhelm her. Instead the imagined rain followed her in, permeated her bones with a chill the hot tea cup couldn't touch.

"Heather, I - I asked you over here because . . . What we have . . . what we share . . . is special."

She stoppedd for a sip though it was too hot to drink and singed her tongue but it deserved the punishment. In her barely stammered out sentences it refused to use the past tense, refused to say what she wanted, needed to say.

She looked at Heather, who was blowing on her tea, both hands clutching the cup, and staring some distant point in the living room table.

Had breaking up with anyone else ever been this difficult?

"I will always care deeply about you, Heather, and treasure our time together," she said.

She wanted to be direct and concise. She didn't want to drag it out or talk around the finality. --It's over Heather-- she wanted to say but didn't.

"Please don't do this."

Her voice was small. Heather wasn't sure she'd spoken at all, she barely heard her voice and Mysti made no reaction - just watched her tea.

"I will . . ." she will what? What could she possibly do? She made every argument she could already. What was the core of the problem? Why can't they be together. "Why can't we just love each other?"

"We can love each other. We do but this isn't what I want. It isn't right for me. I love you but I don't..."

She put her teacup down. Tea splashed on the table. She stood up and walked away, she had to. She needed the space, the physical distance from Heather and the gravitational  pull of her emotions. The tug of the heartache and sympathies. Distance from the hurt Mysti was causing.

It'd be easier if she'd been rude. If she'd done it by text or in a phone call. It would've been better is she'd left it as it was after the argument. Now, she was only torturing them both.

"I love you but I don't want to be with you, Heather. I know it's hard to hear, it's hard enough to say and even more impossible to explain even to myself but . . . I have to say it. I don't want to be with you."

"You said you wanted something different. You said you clicked in a way yo've never experienced before."

"I wish we could've met as friends."

"You wanted to be with me when you thought I was a man."

"I've wanted to be with lots of men before I met them or before a few dates. It doesn't work out every time, regardless of gender."

"Don't say it like you've had a romantic relationship with a woman before. Don't say that like you've got a liberal understanding gender or sexuality."

"I do not want to argue about this again, Heather. I don't want us to end ugly."

"I don't want this to end."

"You can't force me to be ina relationship with you and even if you could . . . there's no scenario where we both end up happy."

I wonder if there are other writers who switch up names and spellings of names sort of randomly as they go. I do it constantly.

Thanks for reading!!