Nanowrimo: Extract

So I’m all worded out. At just over 27,000 words, I’m done for the month. Quite an achievement, obviously not as good as I hoped, but I’ll deal with what went wrong, and what went right, in another post.

I thought, since you’ve come along for the ride, that I might give you a taste of what I was writing about. As I said in an earlier post, I changed my story within the first few days, and I’m pretty happy with what I have down for the new one.

I think it has the potential for a life after Nano, and I have most of the major scenes that I imagined written. The plan is to put it away until after Christmas and concentrate on something else. When I pick it up again, I’ll go through with a red pen and get rid of anything that immediately doesn’t fit, and then re-write it, filling in the gaps, and bulking it out to (hopefully) around 70,000 words in the first few months of the new year.

Until then though, here’s a small extract from my Nano novel. (Note: this is unedited – it is exactly as originally written, so apologies for bad sentence structure and typos).

Just a bit of background – Quinn and Luke are best friends in their final year of high school. As the result of an accident, Quinn has ended up in Luke’s body. This scene takes place when Quinn finally returns to her own body. Unfortunately, this means that Luke has to die. This is the scene that ensues.

Everything came flooding back to me last night. I woke in the early hours of this morning to a feeling of dread. I was sweating, my heart palpitating and my breathing ragged. The doctor was sitting at the foot of my bed.

“Welcome back, Quinn,” he’d said. I immediately knew who he was and why he was here.

“I’m me again?” I asked.

“You’re you again,” he replied. I smiled. And then I realised that meant that Luke was no longer alive.
“I have someone here who insisted on talking to you.” He nodded towards the door. I looked over to see Luke standing there, leaning on the door frame. He was smiling at me, but he didn’t look like the Luke I knew. He looked somehow lighter. Peaceful.

“Luke?”

“Hey, Quinn.”

“Luke!” I tried to sit up. Luke walked over to my bed and sat down on the chair beside me. He helped me sit up and then took both my hands in his.

“I thought you were…”

“I am Quinn. John let me come back just to say goodbye. We never got to say goodbye Quinn, and I couldn’t bear leaving you like that.”

Tears started rolling down my cheeks. I knew. All these weeks, I knew Luke was gone, but somehow, living in his body, even for a little while made him feel like he was still really alive.

“You have to go?” I asked. Luke nodded.

“So, is this where you tell me to be true to myself and live long and prosper or something?”

Luke laughed. “Something like that,” he said. “Quinn, I really want you to know that it was me who needed you. Not the other way around. You’re the brave one, Quinn. You always have been.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said.

“Do you remember the day we met?” he asked.

“Sure. You beat up Andy Fitzgerald for picking on me. That’s why I started hanging around you,” I replied. Luke laughed.

“You were the one who stuck up for me, Quinn. I was playing in the sand pit with some new cars I’d gotten for my birthday. Andy came along and took them. I yelled at him, and you just walked up to him and told him to give them back. He called you a girl. Do you remember what you said to him?” Luke asked.

“No.”

“You said ‘I am not a girl’,” Luke said and laughed. I laughed too. What a funny thing to say. “Anyway,” continued Luke, “just having you there standing up for me made me brave enough to stand up for myself. While he was focused on you, I snatched my cars back out of his hands. He was so surprised. He went to hit me, but I got in first. I guess I made his nose bleed because I still had the cars in my hand.”

“I don’t remember it like that,” I said.

“I know you don’t, but I’ve never forgotten that day Quinn.” Luke smiled at me.

John cleared his throat. “Time, Luke,” he said.

“Listen Quinn, I know you’re going to have a tough time over the next few months, but I will be watching over you, I promise. I believe in you, Quinn. I always did and I always will. Never forget that.” Luke leant in and hugged me. It felt like I was hugging air. When he kissed me on the forehead, it felt like the tickle of a feather. When he stood back to look at me, I saw a single tear streak down his cheek.

“I have to go Quinn. I love you,” he said.

“I love you too, Luke,” I said. I watched as he turned and walked through the door.

As per usual, comments are always welcome. I’ll release a few more extracts over the next few weeks.

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