Sunday, November 27, 2016
Madison's Avenue - Revised Excerpt
I attended a workshop today: Master Class - Page Turning Fiction taught by Kelley Armstrong.
We were given the opportunity to read the first two pages of our WIP. During the lunch break, I re-read my work and realized that perhaps the first chapter would read well with just a handful of paragraphs and a hook ending. So I read the "edited" version to the group and it was well-received.
Kelley asked, "What happens after this?"
I gave a quick synopsis and then she asked a question that changed everything.
"Why can't the story start when Madison arrives at the house in Maven?"
I thought about it for about three seconds and realized she's right. Madison's Avenue should start at what is currently Chapter 3.
I was in a slump with the book, but now I have focus and I'm excited. Thank you, Kelley!
This is what I read in the class. It's not how the book will start, but a revised version of this excerpt will appear somewhere in Chapter One. Or, perhaps, in Chapter Two. The possibilities are endless. Who knows where the characters will take me now!
* * *
Madison's Avenue - A Revised Excerpt
Madison Fields wasn’t sure how she felt about moving into the cottage in the small town of Maven. All her dreams—no, they were nightmares—were about Gerry shouting and hitting. Most mornings she woke gagging on the memory of whiskey and stale cigarettes.
She remembered her room had one dresser. The paint was chipped and most of the drawer pulls were missing. Her bed was a worn mattress on the floor with a thin, faded blanket that did little to keep her warm. She remembered the dank basement with its bare concrete floor and moldy walls. She remembered hiding in her mother’s closet among the worn dresses. She had a vague memory of the woman who lived across the street, the one who gave her homemade oatmeal cookies.
But she had no memory of the last day in that house, the day she was whisked away by Child Services and brought here to live with her grandparents.
Just as well, Madison thought, her parents were murdered that day.