Dancing In The Minefields: Chapter 1

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Thread: Dancing In The Minefields: Chapter 1

  1. #1
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    Dancing In The Minefields: Chapter 1

    Okay so I figured, I should post the plot: After the recent death of her mother, Imogene Newbury is closing off emotionally from the world. Maybe she would connect if her father wasn't so distant. But in a twist of events, Imogene learns she has inherited her mother's old diary and photo album. In attempt to help his daughter through a rather difficult time in her life, he hires an old flame from his past to help guide her. But after seeing mysterious symbols and patterns in the diary that can't be explained, she starts to realize something isn't quite right with daddy's old friend.


    England, Cambridge.
    Wednesday, April 14th, 1945.
    3:45 p.m.

    The bright sunlight reflected through a window, transforming my blonde hair into a golden brown colour. The heat blistered my forehead, and my vision began to blurr as the tears welled up in my eyes. This was really happening.

    People were filled in the church, all here to mourn my mother's death. Everybody was dressed in the most black clothing I had ever seen before. I wasn't seated next to anyone I knew before, instead I was squeezed between a pair of elderly ladies.

    "Are you her daughter?" one on the the ladies questioned me.

    "Yes," I breathed.

    "My condolences, your mum was a lovely woman." she said.

    "Thank you." I sigh.

    My relatives were seated across from me, and my father resided at the other side of the room. It was my dad who arranged the seating, and for some reason, he wanted me far away from everyone else.

    My father sat in his seat, calmly breathing up and down, his charcoal black hair appeared even darker this time. I searched for a sign of emotion in his face, but nothing showed but coldness. His grey eyes had a straight forward, peircing gaze, and each one of his long fingers was clasped neatly together.

    I heard faint whispers of speculations of how my mother died throughout the room. Nobody actually knew how she died, but as her child, I was certain of one thing, and that was I would never be able to hug her again, and most of all, hear her voice.

    Her disappearance was only a fortnight ago. She left in the middle of the night, without reason or explanation. The next day my father searched desperately for her, and a local boy found her corpse behind a bush. The police contacted my father and he came home and broke the news to me in a few simple words "your mum has died." I denied it at first, but today, I had to face the brutal reality. I was a motherless child.

    The autopsy revealed little to nothing. They said she died due to hypothermia, and she also suffered from a severe head injury. So actually, it did reveal how she died, just not why she left, and who she thought of in her last moments. All the questions I longed to know, but no one could answer.

    The priest stood up and brushed sweat off his forehead, "we have all gathered here today to mourn Alice Newbury's death. She is survived by her husband, Allen Newbury, and siblings, Libby Ainsworth, Anita Thompson, Alex Middleton, and John Thompson. Then, her daughter Jane Imogene Newbury."

    When the priest said my name, her siblings turned towards me and offered comforting glances, and my father finally acknowledged my presence, however he said nothing. I wanted to smile and say I was fine, but I couldn't, the pain was so severe in my heart.

    My uncle, John came and sat by me. He patted my back, "It's alright, Jane."

    When something so terrible happens, everything changes. If this was another day, I would have felt cross for being called by my full name. I always went by my middle name, due to the fact that Jane doesn't fit me very well. When I imagine a Jane, a girl with brown eyes and brunette hair comes to mind. But that wasn't me, which is why I simply prefer Imogene.

    When the ceremony was over, we all began walking over to cemetery for her burial. As we walked, I watched children playing in the streets. The boys were pretending to be soldiers and the girls played with their dolls. I was glad that not every child was as miserable as I was....... or maybe they were, but differently. Most of my friends were left without fathers, due to the war.

    There were rocks laying on the ground causing many to stumble. But I didn't due to my coordination and balance. Our attention shifted to a Fox out in the distance, they were very rare to see here in Cambridge.

    "Imogene, you mustn't walk so fast!" My dad said.

    I whipped around, "Perhaps you all should walk faster?"

    My aunt pushed her infant son in his perambulator, "Just because you observe something as truth that doesn't mean you should say it." She was most definitely correct, but that didn't change my mindset.

    I tugged down on my velveteen coat, and adjusted my dress collar. We had finally arrived at the cemetery after our long travel of walking. My feet throbbed in my saddle boats, causing severe discomfort.

    On the ground, I found a copy of my mother's obituary. I smoothed my fingers on top of the the front, to behold a picture of my mom. She looked so much more youthful and happy in that photo, and was at least a decade younger. Her last days seemed less pleasant. However, she still showered me with affection.

    We tossed flowers on top of my mother's coffin, and cemetery workers lowered her coffin into the grave. I held each image closely, for it was the last time I would ever see her, alive or dead.
    Last edited by Ever2222; February 17th, 2013 at 11:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Aside from the errors (there's a bunch that you should be able to catch with a proof-read), this started out as a promising funeral scene. You even did a good job of setting the mood.

    But then it spirals out of control into a series of random thoughts and events that have no connection to the original scene and confused the hell out of me. One second we were headed to a burial, and the next she was pondering an ongoing war, then her relationship to a kid beneath her status, then some dude has come back (wait, are we still in the cemetery?) and he has a new woman, then all of a sudden were talking with an aunt about something weird, then oh look we ARE still in the cemetery.

    My advice is to focus on the one scene. If the other things are important to this scene, then you need to include them in a less jarring way. The lack of flow makes this very difficult to read.

    Also: 'golden brown' isn't a texture, it's a colour.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by popsprocket View Post
    Aside from the errors (there's a bunch that you should be able to catch with a proof-read), this started out as a promising funeral scene. You even did a good job of setting the mood.

    But then it spirals out of control into a series of random thoughts and events that have no connection to the original scene and confused the hell out of me. One second we were headed to a burial, and the next she was pondering an ongoing war, then her relationship to a kid beneath her status, then some dude has come back (wait, are we still in the cemetery?) and he has a new woman, then all of a sudden were talking with an aunt about something weird, then oh look we ARE still in the cemetery.

    My advice is to focus on the one scene. If the other things are important to this scene, then you need to include them in a less jarring way. The lack of flow makes this very difficult to read.

    Also: 'golden brown' isn't a texture, it's a colour.
    Thanks for the review I will correct all of that stuff. This is my first draft.

  4. #4
    I agree with you Popsrocket - there appear to be many errors and confusing scene changes. However, thought funeral scene-setting was great and I was intrigued enough to want to know more about cause of death of mother. I wonder if English is your first language Ever2222 as I notice some confusion in tenses occasionally and in terms of phrases such as, "I heard faint whispers of speculations" and "My father sat in his seat, breathing up and down"?

    Keep at it.. I feel you have a good story cooking there. Good luck! I love your imagery.

  5. #5
    Great minds run along the same lines -- I have just decided to start with a capsule and you have done it.

    Your funeral works well. I think funerals are almost as difficult to write about as to live through. You make this one interesting to the reader by making a tour of the main characters, by telling us there is a mysterious death. I am surprised that Imogene takes so little note of the head injury. And I would explain more clearly Jane is really Imogene (if I have it right.) And though this passage is full of her personal feelings, I think that the end of the chapter should hint what she should DO about her mother's death. Live a new life? Find the culprit? and so on.

    Your writing is good.

    /Koshka

  6. #6
    I disagree with popsprocket, ever2222, and Tala. First get a handle on the plot and master the exposition. Later, when you have started a novel, you can start the grind of cleaning up spelling, punctuation, and the like. There will be many to help you with that work (even computer programs), very few to assist you in writing the book.
    /Koshka

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