Well...I need to apologize. It's been forever since I've written a post on here! One reason is that I've been busily trying to reach my goal of a finished rough draft by the end of this month. I'm on track to meet that goal...however I think the draft is going to be a bit rougher than I had originally hoped. There are still many transitions and chapter endings that need to be rewritten or developed....but I guess that's why they call it a rough draft.
I've had many days of frustration as well as moments of victory and joy along the way. My rough draft still has a little ways to go and so I am still feverishly working on it whenever I get the chance.
I've both loved and hated having this goal. I know I need to set goals and reach those goals in order to accomplish a project like this. However I also have chafed under the time constraints. I feel that sometimes it sucks the fun out of the project when I feel the goal pressing down on me and a "deadline" approaching and I'm just rattling off words as fast as I can to fill space. Hmmmm...that's definitely been a struggle for me lately.
I have also decided to write each character in the first person, present tense...which requires some rewriting as well. (They were first person, but not present tense.) I think the present tense is much better for what I'm trying to do and much more vivid and I'm enjoying the change as I write.
Many people have been asking to get a taste of the novel. So...here's a little snippet from the rough draft I am working on. This is my character's (Benaiah's) mother, Serah, talking as her son leaves to join King Saul's standing army. Any thoughts, suggestions or comments are welcome!
I lean against the doorway my fingers around the door frame my cheek pressed up against the rough wood. I watch my Benaiah, my dear son, walking away. We had just said goodbye. He had packed his things and I had given him some supplies I had prepared for his journey. This is the moment I have dreaded the most. I can still feel his embrace, his warm arms that had been wrapped around me a moment before. His words of tender love still sit soft in my ear as I watch him walking away. How strong! How manly he looks as he goes off on his new adventure. His heart is set on war and my heart writhes in pain. I can’t hold back the flood of tears that well up in my eyes. It is a relief to be alone in this moment. Crying is not something I allow myself to do, especially not around Beriah or the rest of the family. I hate being vulnerable and weak and Beriah does not approve of such emotional displays. I try so hard to arrange my life so that I do not need anything from anyone—ever! Yet this is breaking through all my resolve. My heart leaves with my son. Without him I am sure that loneliness will break my heart. He doesn’t know how badly I want to hold him back. I want him to stay. I know if I had begged him, he might have listened. There was a chance. Our bond is strong. Stronger than most mothers had with their sons at his age. I might have doused the fire in his eyes. I might have snuffed out his burning enthusiasm and excitement. Then he might have stayed. I could have stirred the conflict of desire and duty that often raged in his mind, but really I know I couldn’t have done that to him. I understand how he aches for this change. I know he needs to go. I won’t stand in his way or hang on clinging like a child to his robe. But watching him go, my ancient wounds tear open fresh. The old pain floods my mind again. He is the son of my woe. Yet I love him so. Unbidden, the memories tear through my mind like jagged flashes of lightning. Terrible, unsettling weakness blows through me like a cold, violent wind. I step back again inside the house and sink to my knees on the dirt, tears streaking down my face…skittering down into the dusty floor, shattering into tiny balls of mud. I feel my body trembling. The images come again, so fresh and raw and real, as if they happened yesterday instead of years before.