The process of writing is rewriting editing and more rewriting.
The other day l wrote some words. I didn’t like them. But it had laid the groundwork for a second draft.
Here it is:
Growing up I did not believe l had one of those lovable faces.
My brother, known in school as the best looking boy of his graduating class, said it was a face only a mother could love.
He was mean.
Simone, a girl who was a friend, not a girlfriend, said my face had character.
She was charming and polite.
Looking now, in the mirror, l decided I’d aged gracefully.
I could truthfully say my brother had not, but that was as far as the comparison went.
My overachieving brother was the epitome of success in business, a veritable god zillionaire. Everything he touched turned to gold.
My ultra successful sister, Penelope, had married into the right family perhaps by chance, but she was also a very learned scholar whose life was divided between her chair and the university and her social life with the rich and famous.
Then there was me.
I gave up on my chance at university because l was not the scholarly sort and didn’t last long. Sadly l was the first of my family to be sent down from Oxford.
Instead, l took on a series of professions such as seasonal laborer, farmhand, factory worker, and lastly, night watchman. At least now I had a uniform and looked like I’d made something of myself.
It would not be enough for my parents who every year didn’t say it out loud but the disappointment was always there in their expressions.
My brother in his usual blunt manner said l was a loser and would never change.
My sister was not quite so blunt. She simply said it was disappointing so much potential was going to waste. I only asked her once what she meant and lost me after the first four-syllable word.
Finally, I’d taken their comments to heart and decided l would not be going home to the family Christmas holiday reunion.
I told my boss l was available to work the night shift over the holidays, the shift no one else wanted.
It was he said the time for reflection. He hated his family as much as I did so we would be able to lament our bad luck though the long cold hours from dusk till dawn.
It was 3 a.m. and it was like standing on the exact epicenter of the North Pole. I’d just stepped from the warehouse into the car park.
The car was covered in snow. The weather was clear now, but more snow was coming.
It was going to be a white Christmas, all I needed. I hoped I remembered to put the antifreeze in my radiator this time.
As I approached my car, the light went on in an SUV parked next to my car. The door opened and what looked to be a woman was climbing down from the driver’s seat.
She closed the door and leaned against the side of the car. “Graham?”
It was a voice I was familiar with, though I hadn’t heard it for a long time, my ultra-successful sister, Penelope. From what I could see, she didn’t look too well.
“What do you want?”
My help, I was the last person to help her or anyone for that matter. But curiosity got the better of me. “Why?”
“Because my husband is trying to kill me.”
The instant the last word left her lips I saw her jerk back into the car, and then start sliding down to the ground. There was no mistaking the red streak following her as she fell.
She’d been shot from what could be a sniper rifle, which meant …
It still needs work but I’ve got the gist of where I want to go.
The idea is not to make a character so loathsome no one would want to read about him.
This will evolve and you can if you like come along for the ride!
© Charles Heath 2020