For today’s post I thought I’d talk about my unfinished novel that has been written and re-written many times. It’s had different names, and different plot points. But it’s something that I keep going back to, when I feel like I can sit down and really do something about it. I’m going to add some bits of what I have so far, different points in the novel, throughout this post as well.
The last time I worked on it was during NaNoWriMo last year where I actually got it to 22k words and 13 chapters. With a pretty clear idea of how the rest was going to go but finishing it? Yeah that was too easy. So I thought I’d talk a little bit about the idea, the past ideas. Here we go!
So the current version of the book called Whispering Pines, is two friends are leaving for a road trip that they’ve planned for a long time, on the way they have their other friend warn them against going, seeing ghosts and getting overall spooked to finally having their car break down just outside a town called “Whispering Pines”.
The main character walks into the town ahead of her friend and disappears. To her friend she’s gone, the towns gone, and frankly she’s freaking out. Meanwhile the main character is in a town, there are people walking around, homes with candles lit in the windows. She too is freaking out.
“What the hell?” Dana muttered as she tired to start the car but it didn’t turn over. Vi looked around and pointed at the town sign that she didn’t remember seeing before.Chasity M – Whispering Pines
“Look,” she said. Dana looked up at the sign. “Whispering Pines. I’ve never heard of it. Is it on the map?” Vi picked up her phone again but there was no signal. Dana opened her door and stepped out, Vi followed suit but didn’t step away from the car.
“Come on, if it’s a town we should see if there is a phone or maybe a garage that can check the car out,” Dana started walking down the street. It was completely deserted, she didn’t think she’d seen another car at all since they made the wrong turn. She turned back to see Vi was grabbing her bag and probably whatever else she could carry.
“Wait up!” she called to Dana, who just laughed and turned to look at her again. She was just about to pass the sign as Vi started following her. Dana stepped across what she supposed was the town line. Vi watched as Dana disappeared before her eyes. In that instant the town sign was gone and car started again. It was sitting idle, the sound of the radio playing through the open windows. Vi could only stand there.
The feeling that she had had when they left, came back in full force. She looked down at her phone to see that there was a signal. What the hell was going on? She didn’t know but what she did know was that Mike’s dream was coming true. She found Mike’s name in her contacts and hit the call up, pulling the phone up to her ear as she stood on the grass, still staring at the spot that Dana disappeared.
As the phone rang she could feel herself start to panic. Vi heard him answer but she didn’t know what to say, she could only let out a shaky breath before she found her words.
“She’s gone, Mike,” she breathed.
The chapters go back and forth between the MC in the town and her friends outside of it. It’s the first in a series that I have ideas for and one day I do hope to finish it. Originally I started off with a book that the MC is locked up in a mental institution, she can see ghosts, but she is put there because her friend was possessed and she killed her thinking that would kill the thing that possessed her. It didn’t and it came back for the MC. But that didn’t get very far and I didn’t touch the idea for a long time.
Then I had an idea for what Whispering Pines currently is, and thought that it would be interesting to tie my two ideas together into a series of books, I just needed to get this one finished. Which is frustrating because it sounds like it’s so easy. I know the rest, it’s in my head but getting that bit out has proven difficult.
She didn’t know how long she was asleep but a loud banging woke her. She was still in the small room before, it was still dark outside. She managed to get up off of the bed and looked out the window. The street seemed empty, until what looked like an elderly woman came into view. She lifted her hand to tap on the window but before she could the old lady turned and looked right at her. Dana gasped but couldn’t move, the woman’s eyes were white. A shocking bright white that kept Dana locked in place, she could feel the fear creeping up her spine again. The woman suddenly flew towards the window, as if she was going to smash right into the glass and a loud scream rang in Dana’s ears. She moved away from the window and covered her ears waiting for sound of breaking glass to happen but nothing did. She felt a hand touch her shoulder causing her to jump away and scream but it wasn’t some creepy old woman, it was the man from before.Chasity M. – Whispering Pines
“Are you okay?” he asked. She shook her head. She didn’t like this, she wasn’t someone that got scared like this. Things like this were just in the movies, they weren’t real. “Since you were sleeping, I checked with the motel for you. They don’t have any rooms so you can stay here but how about we get out and I can show you around?” he offered his hand. She looked at him briefly and just nodded before taking his hand.
“Sure,” she let him pull her up to stand. She brushed at her face and took a deep breath as he ushered her out of his house and out on the street. The moment her foot touched the pavement, the street lights seemed brighter and she realized that there were other people walking around them. She could hear other people talking and for just a moment she felt like this was a normal town with normal people.
The trouble I have with it is that sitting down to really write something is difficult. Which is funny since I’m sitting here perfectly okay with writing this, maybe it’s the pressure to finish. When you’re so close to the end that you have a harder time completing it. I don’t know if that’s a real thing but lord knows that the main story is almost done. The first draft probably won’t be more than 50k if that, maybe twenty chapters, if that. Which seems small and just not enough.
So then it’ll be a million years before I get back in edit it. Writing a novel isn’t as easy as one may think. Writing a good novel at least, sure someone can shovel out crap without a problem and someone will probably publish it. *cough* Fifty Shades of Grey *cough* but that isn’t the kind of writer or author I’d want to be. I want to write something that people want to read for more than the cheap thrills. I want to right something that makes people feel and holds with them, that they’ll want to re-read because its just that good.
Mike stood in the doorway of the garage as Mrs. Daniels pointed to the boxes that were on a shelf. He moved forward to grab the boxes, hoping to get them and get out as quickly as possible.Chasity M. – Whispering Pines
“You really think that you can find your friend?”
“I hope so, but I don’t really know.”
Mike pulled down the first one and as he turned for the next one he felt the entire garage get cold, his breath coming out in puffs of smoke. He turned turned to look at Mrs. Daniels to see her standing still, staring at him. Her eyes were dark and her mouth was twisted in a wide smile.
“You won’t find her, she’s mine now. Stop while you can Mike,” Mrs. Daniels voice was gravely, far older sounding than she actually was. She moved forward, slowly, her joints jerking as she went until she was leaning far enough into him that he could feel her breath. It smelled like lemonade, and cigarettes. “Dana is mine now.” She breathed out and he watches as Mrs. Daniels went limp. He barely had time to catch her before she fell but he brought her down to the floor of the garage slowly. Mike didn’t waste time, he got the boxes and moved Mrs. Daniels to her couch. He didn’t wait for her to wake up before he rushed out. He put the boxes in his car and told Vi to get in. They needed a place to stay, he couldn’t really speak, but he drove until they found a motel and he got them a room.
“What happened, Mike?” Vi asked as they walked into the motel room. “You haven’t spoken since we left Mrs. Daniels’ house.” She put her bag in the corner and turned to look at him as he put the two boxes on the small table in the corner. It wasn’t the biggest room and really, she didn’t know how long they planned on staying here, but it would do. She sat on one of the beds and waited for him to actually speak to her.
“I…I don’t know Vi,” he said with a sigh. He turned around and sat on one of the chairs by the table. He shifted forward, putting his head in his hands. He didn’t know how to explain it, but he tried to explain what happened, how Mrs. Daniels was possessed by someone. “Whoever it was, knew my name. Knew Dana’s name.” He looked up at Vi who looked pale.
I know that really all I have to do, is do it. Even a little bit at a time. Finish it. A complete story, even if it’s not finished is something to work with. All I need to do with a complete first draft is flesh things out. I’m terrible at descriptions, so I would have to go back and put that back in. Work on spots that I felt were lacking. It’s just a matter of motivation. Get it done, right? If only. I won’t give up that’s for sure. This is a story that I want to tell and I think that I can do it well, I’m sure that I can.
Despite the fact that I’m my own worst critic, as I’m sure many of us are, I don’t think that I’ve done a bad job here. I actually like it, I like the characters that I’ve made in this world and I hope to one day be able to finish it and possibly get it published.
Thanks for reading this long one, do you have an unfinished novel too? Tell me about it!