12 July 2010 - 10:46 am

Fiction snippet: Confession

I was reading an interesting post about different methods of writing by Juliet Marillier earlier today (well worth checking out!). I appreciate authors who realise that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ when it comes to approaching writing.

It got me to thinking about sitting down to start writing a piece. It’s the enemy of every writer: staring at a lot of blank white space, teetering on the edge of fiction, trying to find that perfect way to begin. I’ve been sitting in that position more times than I like to think! Pretty much every time I set out to start a blogfic post. I’ve got my own ways of getting past that.

As occasionally happens, pondering the situation sparked an idea in my head, and I managed to scribble it down (can you ‘scribble’ when you type? I typed it down. But quickly, between chunks of work, in a tiny Notepad window no-one saw).

I had intended it to be just a tiny snippet, maybe another of those two-sentence stories that I like to play with sometimes. It didn’t want to stay to only two sentences. It splurged (a little) and I let it, and here’s what came out:


A clean white sheet is spread before me, unsullied by human emotion, desire, or blood. I must mark it, stain it, spill myself onto its surface. I must treat it with respect, ease the sheet into its scarring, and hope for forgiveness when I am done.

The start is always the hardest part: the first puncture in the dam, the first perforation to tear loose. I must find the perfect place to sink the hook, so that it it rips and spills into the correct shape. After that, it will run and run until it reaches its coughing, spluttering finale.

Never mind all that. Start with truth, a deep breath and bravery. The rest will follow, as inevitable as its own end.

“Today, I killed a man….”

I think this month’s task for my writing group will be to start a story with those (last) five words.

Must not get distracted with ideas. I have Starwalker to write (which is coming along swimmingly!). But at least I got this bit out!

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  1. Gabriel says:

    Nooooooo! I’m supposed to be working, and now my mind is racing with possibilities!!!

    BTW very intriguing snippet. Well written, sets the mind imagining as all good fiction should

    July 13th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

  2. Mel says:

    Ahahahaha. Let the ideas out! They like it when they do that. If you keep them in, they will scrape at the walls with their fingernails. You know they will.

    Thanks for the feedback! Glad you like the snippet. I should post more random little stuff. 🙂

    July 13th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

  3. Thylonicus says:

    Did you put your gun against his head? Pulled your trigger, now he’s dead?

    July 19th, 2010 at 3:10 pm

  4. Mel says:

    Will you do the fandango?

    July 19th, 2010 at 3:12 pm