NaNoWriMo: Kicking Off with an Excerpt

Hello fellow NaNoWriMos! I hope you've kicked off the month and are typing away in all your spare time. Remember, those 15 minute speed writing sessions can really ramp up your word counts. According to Scrivener, I'm at about 8,400 words. That's the biggest word count I've ever kicked off with. We'll see if I can keep it up over the coming days and weeks.

And for fun, here's a scene from my NaNoWriMo project, Take Two:

Knock, knock, knock.
 Just ignore it. Roll over and go back to sleep. 

Knock, knock, knock.
Feet touch the cool hardwood floors.
Stay in bed. Don't go downstairs.

Knock, knock, knock.
It's so dark. What time is it?
Lightning flashes, illuminating the hall clock.

Knock, knock, knock.
Who could be here at this time of the night?
Go back to bed.
It's so cold.
Don't answer the door.

Knock, knock, knock.
She’s at the door.
Don't open it!
Go back to bed!

Knock, knock, knock.
But they aren't leaving.
What if they wake up Michael?
Her hand reached out and grasped the cold doorknob.

Knock. Knock. Knock.
Don't open it!
But I have to.
Slowly, the door swung open.
Cold wind assaulted her, blowing her hair in her face and pushing her long nightgown to twist around her legs. Two men in uniforms stand on the porch.

“Mrs. Thomas?”
What do they want?
Why are they here? 

“There's been an accident”
Iciness trickles through her, freezing her feet in place. The night becomes distorted with swirling darkness.
What are they saying?

“I'm sorry. Your husband had fatal injuries.”
Numbness begins at her feet and works it way up. Everything around her shifts, fades, and becomes darker.

“Your husband is dead.”
Closer and closer, the darkness comes toward her.
Is it possible to feel any colder? Is this what death feels like?
Total blackness creeps in to consume her.

“No! Jeff!” Jennifer cried as she sat up, surrounded by the dark of night, gasping for air. 

Jeff. The dream. Again. Will I ever stop reliving that night? Leaning over, Jennifer turned on the bedside light. She took his picture from the nightstand, then turned and wrapped her arms around the pillow and sobbed. 

Jeff, I miss you so much. Why can't you be here? I need you. 

Memories of their time together filled her mind. Jeff's laughter after he would sneak up behind her, Jeff wrapping his arms around her waist while she washed dishes, and being held in those arms at night when everything was quiet.

I need you to hold me again.
I need you to help me. 

Remember when we were dating and our friends would tease us about our names? Jeff and Jenn—oh so cute together. Remember that winter night when your roommates were being boisterous so we threw on our coats, grabbed blankets and sat on the outside steps so we could read our scriptures together in peace? Now I can't remember when the last time was that I opened the book.

Yes I do. It was the night you died.

Oh, Jeff. I can't be strong without you. I can't do this alone. Why aren't you here?

Sobbing even harder, Jennifer rubbed her face from side to side. Glancing up, she saw Jeff's favorite picture of Christ tending His flock of sheep.

Why, God? Why did you take him from me? He was doing what you wanted him to do. He went to that church meeting. He obeyed. Why did you let him die? I know you could have stopped it.
Don't you know how much I need him? Don't you understand that Michael needs his father to be here? Jeff should be here to go to his t-ball games, to play hide and seek like we used to, to hug him and love him. Now Michael's only memories of his father are the stories I tell him.

Don't you love us? 

What did I do to make you punish me this way? I just want Jeff. I want him back.
Why, God? Why?

My life's empty without him. Why did you take him from me?


Over and over, the unanswered question repeated in her mind until the darkness of sleep took over again.

I know the formatting is funky, but hey, it's a copy and paste from Scrivener.  =)  

How are your projects coming? 
If you post an excerpt from your book, please leave a link in the comments so I can come check it out!

Happy writing!

Would you like to comment?

Christy said...

I like the way you open the chapter. It's different. And then the emotion is really poignant. Off to a good start. Good luck!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Thanks, Christy. This isn't how I start the book, but it's a scene a few chapters in. I thought it would be fun to share some interesting sections I write a few times a week. I hope you're doing well with your NaNo project!

Sara O said...

Sounds like you're off to a great start! I've been on the fence about NaNoWriMo this year...I suppose it's time to decide before I get too far behind!

Anonymous said...

Very tension filled excerpt. I like it! The formatting looks like poetry which is kind of neat. Congratulations, Danyelle!