2015

Hiking my way past NaNoWriMo writer’s block

Last week I skipped a NaNoWriMo update, honestly I was just not feeling focused enough to put in the necessary edits after everything that happened that weekend.

I have been chipping away at it, that 50,000 word count seems so monumental at the moment however. But my main goal is to finish this story, wether it’s going to end up as a proper novel or not. I sincerely hope it does get fleshed out to that point however.

As I mentioned last time, this story just keeps surprising me with the path that it is taking and last week it’s frustrating meandering got me to a point where I felt  getting bored writing the story. BAD SIGN.

So I took a day to go hike around in the woods for a few hours.

On this hike I brought my phone and (breathlessly) recorded myself telling the story.

And you know what? It actually helped.

I was able to work my way back to the point in the story where I lost interest, then shift it into a new direction.

I’m liking it so much more now and I feel like I’ve found the story’s soul again.

So, today I’m sharing the next chunk of my frustrating baby- Transformation.

If you missed Chapter 1 you can find it [here].

Otherwise the last part was:

Rose was struggling to make her way down the road to try and find help. She hears something on the road ahead of her and she calls out, “Hello?”

Transformation – Chapter 2

A low growl answers her.

Rose quickly changes course and stumbles through the muck and out into the woods.
She crashes through the bushes. Tree branches whip at her viciously. tearing red streaks of blood into her pale skin and shredding her skirts as she flees into the treacherous woods.
Behind her the growling grows into a thunderous rumble, seeming to shake and warp reality around her. Howls and the wolves they come from crash through the trees in bursts of blue light, appearing from side to side as she  rushes deeper into the tangle of the forest.
shadow wolves
They’re surrounding her.
Fear threatens to choke her, breath enters her lungs in burning gasps.
Ahead of her, glistening from the rain and illuminated mutely by moonlight stands a grand tree, leaning precariously out over the edge of a ravine.
Without a second glance she jumps up onto the lowest branch of the tree and climbs, her heeled boots slipping for purchase on the slick bark. The growling rumble shakes the earth and the tree as she climbs up and up, finally reaching one of the top most branches. And for a moment Rose risks a glance back down.

Below her is a boiling blackness of wolves and crackling blue sparks.

ch2 quote
Rose’s wide eyes lock on one of the wolves as it flows to the base of the tree. It flickers into two, shreds into three and then swirls back again into one, it’s paws lengthen and stretch as blue sparks crawl up it’s thinning limbs. It’s form was shifting, shifting, shifting, into something… more like a man.
Gasping out Rose turns, desperately looking to the other side of the ravine. The tree branch almost stretches out far enough for her to reach… A quick glance back down to the shadow man creeping up the side of the tree is all the encouragement she needs.
Crawling out further on the branch, Rose goes, bringing her feet up under her, hoping against hope that the branch will hold just long enough for her to jump.

Crack.

An endless moment of weightlessness. The world sucks out from under her. She falls.
Reaching out, Rose catches the far edge of the ravine, but the grasses rip free under her weight.
Her chest hits an exposed rock with a sickening crack, her hands slip and scrape through rock and loose dirt , but they manage to grab a hold of an out-jutting root.
Crying out she scrabbles for purchase, her shoes sliding uselessly along the crumbling cliff side.
Shaking, Rose tries to pull herself up, kicking her feet beneath her, desperate to find a foot hold, but she is hanging out too far over the edge for her petite frame to be able to reach.

Her hands slip a little and she lets out a cry, “Help!! Anyone, Help!”

Air pushes aside the matted strands of her hair as a raven lands near the roots she’s desperately hanging from. He cocks his head at her.

“Help!” The ground under her arms gives out just a little more, sending a trickle of dirt down into the abyss below her. Her arms burn with the effort as she struggles to lift herself up.

“You seem to be in a bit of a predicament there young one.” The Raven raven hellomurmurs.

Rose’s eyes widen in surprise.

The raven struts over to her, standing just beyond her fingertips. “And what, pay tell, brought you into my little corner of existence?”

“Help,” Rose cries “Please help, I’m going to fall to my death otherwise!”

The raven turns a black eye to her, “That remains to be seen. I could help you, I suppose.”

“Please! Help me!”

“I would need something in return of course.” The Raven glances back up at the tree and the flickering shadow wolves gathered around the edge of the cliff. Silent now, and slowly pulsing in and out in density.

“Anything!” Rose cries, her hands slipping on the root.

“It’s a deal” the raven lets out a crowing laugh, “But any deal worth striking must be sealed with blood.”
He pecks her hand, shocking Rose into letting go. And she slides, into nothingness once more.

Her scream is cut short as her body makes contact with the sloping side of the cliff. The raven’s laughter echoes around her as her body continues to roll down into the ravine. Hitting rocks with sickening cracks and slicing fresh wounds into her as she goes.

She comes to a stop, tangling in a bush just before a stream begins. Her blood drips sluggishly into the clear cold water.

A moan escapes her lips and the raven alights in front of her once more.
ch2 quote4“Now that we have that out of the way-” his beak opens up, stretching further open than it should, showing an impossible darkness inside of it’s gaping maw. And a low sound of screaming grows from within the darkness.
Rose whimpers, struggling to pull away from the creature as the screaming grows and grows around her, penetrating her bleeding body with a painful vibration. Cracking sounds and painful jolts inside her bones are followed by blessed numbness. Her vision fades and fresh blood trickles from her nose.
As the world slips away from her the screaming abruptly stops and she can hear time stretching into a tingling stream around her, her body slips from her awareness.
 And consciousness gives up up it’s hold as she drifts away.
‡—————-‡

Rose dreams she is whole again, and wandering through a field illuminated by a sickly yellow-green light.

She lets the hay tips brush against her palms, as she walks deeper into the field.
She comes up to a scarecrow and looks up into it’s leathery face, realizing  with horror that it’s actually the body of a dead girl.

She turns to run away and stops short. A wall of shadowy figures have circled around her, some looming over her and others staring up from the height of young children. The weight of their collective gaze is tangible. Forcing her knees to buckle.
ch2 field
She spins around, searching for a break in their ranks. But sees none. In unison their arms reach out to her, and they burst into a swarm of Ravens.
They fly up around her, swirling in a vortex of feathers and darkness. Trapping her in the vortex with the corpse-scarecrow.
ch2 fieldquote
The corpse raises it’s milky eyes to her and it’s mouth opens up, a sucking wind starts to pull Rose towards the gaping maw of the corpse.
Rose is buffeted forward by the closing circle of the Ravens and she feels herself thinning out and stretching.
She looks down to her hands and sees a stream of dust flowing into the scarecrow’s mouth.
Birds dart through her, bursting through her body as if it were made of no more than steam and she is absorbed into the corpses mouth.
‡—————-‡
Thank you so much for poppin in to read my story-in-progress!
I’m curious (and may need some help again in the near future) What kind of things do you do when you find you’re stuck on something your working on?

 

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3 replies »

  1. I like the wolves. A lot. 🙂

    When I get stuck on a story, I go find my oldest daughter and tell her I’m stuck. I feed her the plot and we talk about the characters, what motivates them, what might happen next, and how everything connects together in the larger cosmos. We end up joking and laughing a lot and inevitably some idea resonates with me — sometimes hers, sometimes mine — and I’m off again.

    I think the point is: find some creative person who thinks the story is intriguing to play around with the possibilities with you.

    Hiking also works. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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