Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Little B&E this week for #WeWriWa and #8Sunday



I’m changing gears. Again.

 Now that summer is finally here and everyone has changed their boots for flip-flops and started lining up at the ice cream stands, it seems strange to be posting snippets from a Christmas themed novella, Snowflakes & Beeswax. I’m in the process of putting together all my submission stuff and hope to start submitting it later this week.  

Snowflakes & Beeswax is a sweet romantic story about an agoraphobic chandler and one of Queen Charlotte’s personal guards. With the exception of two scenes, the entire setting is a small, medieval style farm in Northern England. The idea for the story sprang from my current obsession with beekeeping.
Here’s the start of my story which is, oddly, very unChristmasy and very unromantic. 

Don't forget to check out the talented group of writers who made the decision to share their work on this fine weekend.  You can find links leading to the snippets they've posted at the Weekend Writing Warriors linky list, and the Facebook group, Snippet Sunday.

December, 1800

The intruder used a stick to prevent the door from shutting completely, leaving it open just wide enough so a thin beam of silver light streamed through the crack, penetrating the dark space behind the threshold.
            Grateful for what little light the moon provided, the intruder turned and crept towards the center of the large room, stopping when their hip connected with a hard edge.
            With smooth, economical movements, the intruder placed a lantern on the top of the flat surface and carefully moved the black cloth they’d covered it with, creating a narrows slit that golden light exposing just enough light for them to see their surroundings. The room was a recent addition, designed so the old stone barn was between it and the cabin, but the intruder felt it best to be cautious.
The prowler rolled their shoulders and studied the space.
            They were alone in the middle of a large room that smelled of honey, beeswax, and heat. The lantern rested on the top of an enormous scarred table just a few inches from a small leather trunk.
            The shadow clad individual moved to the box, the sight of the unlocked clasp bringing a brief smile to their face.

32 comments:

  1. Intriguing! Love the period atmosphere you've created.

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  2. Great job! Very evocative and moody.

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  3. Beautiful. Your descriptions are spot on--and paint a perfect picture. :-) Nice job, Jess. :-)

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  4. Oooh! What's in (or was in) the box? Very intriguing!

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  5. Ohh, very intriguing! I want to know what's the box!

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  6. So suspenseful. I agree with Ryan, I admire you for creating that authentic period feel. Oh, I can't wait to see where this is going! I have one minor suggestion though. In the beginning I read the expression "the intruder" quite often. Since there are no personal pronouns I'm guessing that you have your reasons for leaving them out. How about mixing it up with dark figure or shadow. Other than that, I really like it. :)

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    1. Thanks for the advice! Looks like I'll have to consult the thesaurus!

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  7. I'll agree that you do a great job with atmosphere. I can picture the setting easily and the intruder looks like just a dark silhouette, which adds to the whole spookiness :D

    I don't know how early of a draft this is and I'm supposing you're going to go back for edits, but my OCD is demanding that I mention this: instead of using "their" when referring to the intruder, maybe stick to he (or she) because you're not talking about multiple people. It might help the prose to flow a bit better.

    I'd like something further when that person's hip hits something (a table?). Maybe a mention of him biting his lip or cutting short a swear word. Some bit of personalization would add some richness to that moment. I'm really curious about all of this now and sure hope you're going to post more!

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    1. I'm trying to hide their identity as much as possible with the hope of increasing plot tension. I'm not sure how successful I'm going to be. I agree that all the they/thier doesn't make for very fluid writing. I'll have to give it another whirl and see if a rewrite tightens things up.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

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  8. Very suspenseful! Have to agree with Dana and Marcia; although I think you are purposely not wanted to reveal the intruder's gender, which makes this a bit of a quandary.

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  9. Wow, now I need to know what they are doing. Tweeted.

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  10. Love how you paint this scene! Good job :)

    Best of luck with the sub

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  11. Very intriguing. Great way to start this one. That brief smile at the end had me hooked!

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  12. I feel like I'm right there. Fab descriptions. I'm nervous, but excited to know more.

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  13. Great opening. Looking forward to more!

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  14. You're obviously trying to hide the sex of the intruder, but "their" doesn't work for me. Sounds too much like plural. I used first person to do the same thing (for quite a few chapters) but there are bits here that could work in passive voice (the black cloth covering the light) or "a hip connected with the table." Leave out things you can't handle that way.

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  15. Your snippets always take me away to another place. I love the title too. Good luck with the subs!

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  16. Fun snippet and a great title. Very excited for you that you are ready to submit. Good luck!

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  17. I agree with what's said--both with an excellent job at setting the mood and the issue with 'their'. I thought Sue Ann's suggestion was spot-on. :-) Looking forward to reading this as I've always loved your snippets!

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  18. I enjoyed the snippet, love the premise of the story but the word "their" stopped me cold EVERY time. (I know it's been said above and I apologize for mentioning the word too, but it just really did prevent me from seamlessly enjoying the unfolding events.) I guess I would ask, do we *really* have to be in the dark about who is doing what here? If we do, then I have all the confidence you'll find a way to write it! Always enjoy your excerpts!

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    1. Thanks so much for the advice. It's a huge help and tells me that I really need to tinker with this section.

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  19. This is so mysterious. But who is the intruder really and what is he doing there?
    I want to know. I can almost smell the honey and beeswax.

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  20. What a great beginning to the story! I really want to know who the intruder is and why they are there.

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  21. The box. What's in the box???? Need more snippets!

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  22. Jess, I liked the mystery of this snippet, but by repeating "the intruder" it suggested we were in someone else's POV, like someone already in the room watching this person wander around, but you mentioned this person's gratitude for the light. If we're in "the intruder's" POV, give this person a sex and a pronoun so we can be more present with him/her. As it reads right now, the reader won't be very engaged in this person's exploits and might not care enough to continue reading. Good luck in your submissions. :)

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    1. Thanks for the advice. I went round and round with the whole "the intruder" part. Getting the opinions of others is a huge help.

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