Letting myself spend a week writing crap followed by a couple of days of just reading worked wonders on my creativity. I’ve started a new project that I’m actually enjoying. I learned 4 things about my writing in the process:
- I like to twist and bend classic myths, fables, and fairy tales, but not merely to give them a modern retelling.
- I do best when I don’t take myself (or my story) too seriously.
- I prefer an interesting story with a romantic sub-plot rather than a romantic story with an interesting sub-plot.
- I like writing from a man’s perspective.
That last one produced a hell of a lot of facepalming on my part. I never wanted to be one of those writers who thinks white men are a stand-in for everyone everywhere, like they’re the generic average. Though maybe I can be excused, since most of my male MCs are not your typical straight, white dudes. Besides, some of my writer friends who are men enjoy writing from a woman’s POV, and they do it very, very well. Turnabout’s fair play, right?
Since it’s the first Wednesday of the month, I’m posting the first scene from the new novel. I’ll be back to sharing little bits from my other project, since I don’t have nearly enough written on this one to keep things going. So this is a teaser, and then I’m hiding it until more is done. No fancy WIPpet math this time, but feel free to comment on what story you think this might be based on.
Also, my MC is named Micah. My apologies to the 3 people I know who bear that name–he’s not based on you, I promise. It was just a nice, not-too-common Bible name, which is what I needed. I thought Obadiah was a bit of overkill.
Micah Forbes had just stripped off his clothes for a shower when his phone rang. He stood in the middle of his bedroom, completely naked, debating. After two more rings, he decided to pick it up. Self-conscious despite the fact that the caller wouldn’t know his state of undress, he slung a towel around himself and looked at the number.
Oh, hell. He almost didn’t answer, but then he decided talking to his brother would be better than the nasty voice mail and subsequent return call. “Hello, Elijah,” he said, trying to keep the irritation out of his voice. Elijah only ever called when he wanted something.
“Got the all-clear on Pop’s will,” Elijah said.
So much for pleasantries first. “Great. Whatever he left you, go enjoy it with my blessings. I need to get ready for work.” If that was all Elijah wanted, there was no point in lingering. Micah extended the phone, about to end the call.
“Wait!” Elijah shouted.
Micah pressed the phone back to his ear. “What.” He didn’t make the same effort not to sound annoyed this time.
“He left all of us something. Even you.” There was a vaguely smug tone to Elijah’s voice.
“Oh, really?” Micah imagined that his late father had left him something petty and ridiculous, like the collection of old newspaper clippings in which he was featured.
“Yep. Of course, you knew Jeremiah would take over the church and get the main house. I got all his book deals—which is fine, since I was already ghost writing for him anyway. Plus, I got the second house.”
Micah resisted the urge to tell Elijah that he shouldn’t brag about the crap he was passing off as “books.” Instead, he said, “Get to the point.”
“You got Pop’s house on Seneca Lake.”
Micah groaned; he couldn’t help it. That house was worth less than the collection of news clippings. None of the Forbes sons had been there since Micah was thirteen or so, and he had no idea when their father had last been there. He had no way of knowing if the house was in any condition to sell it, which meant months of work and a lot of money just to unload it on someone else. He would never recover the loss from fixing it up.
Elijah laughed. “It’s in your hands now, little bro. Meanwhile, I think I’ll write Pop’s biography. Enjoy your inheritance. Good luck—you’ll need it, unlike me.” He hung up.
“Well, fuck you too!” Micah shouted into the phone, even though there was no one there.
He flopped backwards on his bed, the towel slipping from his hips. Sighing deeply, he ran his hands over his face. He didn’t have time to deal with this properly at the moment. It wasn’t that he begrudged his brothers their success—or, at least, the success their father had bestowed upon them. It was more that even in death, his father continued to make it plain exactly how much worth he believed his youngest son had.
Micah rose from the bed and headed to the bathroom. There would be time to figure things out in two weeks when the school year was over. For the moment, he needed to concentrate on successfully graduating his fifth graders to middle school.