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  1. #1
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Flashback Scene~chapter 1

    This is the second scene in my first chapter, right after Gavin leaves. It's a flashback, and I've heard some bad things about doing this. Is this done well enough? Thanks for your time!


    I undressed, slipping arms through paper sleeves, never bothering to tie paper strings into bows. I remember wanting to slap the phone from Gavin's hand; I needed him. Yet I also found comfort in his ability to disconnect.

    The technician entered the room with a smile. I drew comfort from that too, looking for strength in all things. Even her name carried assurance: Hope. Yes, it was a sign; my plea had been heard.

    In a dim room lit by an ultrasound monitor, the tube of jelly sputtered as she squeezed remaining drops onto my belly. Gavin putting his phone away frightened me. I was coming unraveled while his grip drained blood from my hand and fear passed between us. Hot anger filled my lungs, burning. I felt mislead, realizing he was scared too. Damn him, he had stayed calm for me.

    The nurse searched for rapid swooshing, and I asked questions: what she saw, what was wrong, did she see anything? Through a vacant smile she said Dr. Shriver was better suited to answer our questions, left the room and took hope with her.

    Gavin and I waited, no words exchanged between us, my hand still drained of feeling.

    Returning, I scanned their faces, back and forth like a ping-pong ball. I got nothing. The doctor squeezed the same empty tube of jelly, determined to get something from it. I wanted scream, 'open another one, damn it!' He searched the monitor with furrowed brows; I remember the v shaped wrinkle between them.

    In a composed bedside manner, Gavin and I received the results of our final exam. Either we would pass and move on to parenthood, or we would fail.

    "I'm sorry to tell you this, there's no heartbeat."

    It was that simple, we'd failed. I couldn't argue or deny; I'd seen it too. No heart fluttered, stillness in the aquarium she swam. I looked to Gavin for answers, he had none. Instead, he asked questions.

    How can you be sure?
    Are you certain?
    That can't be right.
    Look again.
    You're wrong.

    The depth of his feelings for our baby touched me.

    Searching again, the doctor amused us, pointing to the organ no longer pumping life.

    Like frost vanishing when sunshine reaches down and wipes the earth dry, she was gone. No time to locate tears, fears, disappoints or pain. I was induced and delivered a sleeping doll. Our love flawlessly woven together. I remember placing her little nose to my face, desperate to feel breath on my cheek. Nothing.

    Gavin and I studied her features, counted fingers, holding her in arms not wanting to let go. But time ticked no matter the occasion and we handed our child over to science. I wish we'd held her longer. Instead we clung to each others desperation.

    "Sometimes these things happen. We don't understand why,” the doctor offered. "You're both healthy, and I don’t see any reason why you can’t try again."

    Try again? I didn't want another baby, I wanted her.

    I was right about the days that followed; they were the darkest to find my way through. The day of the memorial service, I wore maternity clothes, and my breast swelled with milk. All this anguish, and I had nothing to carry outside of me, except a deflated belly and inflated breasts. A body betraying a heart.

    I took the standard six-week maternity leave from work. Spent all of that stumbling through darkness. Days went by unnoticed, nights went by awake. Nothing mattered.

    Gavin's way of coping was work. But I couldn't grasp anything substantial to pull me from the quicksand I was drowning in.

    During those weeks, Gavin would come home and find me in the nursery. I hadn't moved all day. Being in that room brought peace, a sanctuary. My behavior terrified him.

    A weekend away was his solution to snatch me from despair. I protested, but reluctantly gave in, trying to forget the pain, not bring it along like an extra piece of luggage. It got packed anyway. By the end of the weekend, I was drained from lugging it around, tired of acting. I'd never been so happy to see home. When Gavin was occupied, I snuck away to my favorite room, the closest I could get to the dream that almost came true.

    Relief embraced me just from touching the knob. I opened the door ready to lay my luggage of sadness down. But things had changed while I was gone, this room had betrayed me. The walls were nauseating beige, and a greedy queen size bed occupied the floor. Her crib, the changing table, and my beloved rocking chair were gone, even clothes gently hung in the closet had vaporized. I was enraged, smothering in pain. The slate had been wiped clean. According to this room, she never existed.

    “Gavin!”

    He was out of breath, but reached me with controlled steps.

    "I thought it would help. Get you past everything. If it stayed that way you can't get over it,” his words floated past.

    "Get over it!" I remember the burn in my throat. "I don't want to get over it. We lost her, and I can’t forget. How can you?"

    "I haven’t forgotten, Chloe. I just thought this would help."

    "Where are my things, her things? What've you done with them?"

    "It’s all in storage. I kept everything." My weeping turned into crying, and crying into sobbing. "I still have everything," he promised.

    The next afternoon my pink rocking chair found its familiar spot in the corner of the room. I now trace my fingers along the patterns in the fabric.

    It never dawned on me to ask who had helped with the makeover. Although, I pictured Mark, Lauren, and my mother quietly covering pink walls with beige only Lauren could pick and packing baby blankets in a box.
    Last edited by Amy Lou; 10-08-2011 at 09:57 PM.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Amy. Hi. I'll come back later when I have more time, but two things jumped out at me: the doctor amused us (they have just been told their unborn baby is dead, and they're amused?; and he stayed calm for me (did you mean, he [U]needed[U]to stay calm? Be back later

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I'll take a closer look at this one later when I have time. One line that instantly jumped out at me was "Like frost vanishing when sunshine reaches down and wipes the earth dry, she was gone" .... very good. I think the emotional depth of loss also worked well... nice realism.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Susan B's Avatar
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    I loved this line: 'The nurse... left the room and took hope with her.'

    Did you mean 'indulged' instead of amused?

  5. #5
    Amy Lou
    Guest
    Wow thanks guys/gal, for stoping by. It sat here all day, lonely! LOL

    Tinman~ I was trying to use the word amused like, the doctor entertained our dillusions and checked again. You know? But if this is confusing, I'll fix it. It seems like it bothered Susan too.

    JD~thanks for telling me the line you enjoyed! I'm really happy you liked int and have stopped in! Come back!!

    Susan~And thank you for reading and pointing out the line you loved. I like that one too! LOL I think I meant amused but in the way I described above. I'll change it, it seems confusing!

    Thanks again everyone!
    Amylou

  6. #6
    Cat
    Guest
    You have some very powerful images, but it's all scene summary.

    Scene summary is distancing.

    Your brilliant ideas deserve better.

    Write some scenes.
    Last edited by Cat; 10-09-2011 at 09:35 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    Amylou, greedy queen size bed - this is one of those times when a descriptor is not needed - i.e. greedy is being used to animate something that is inanimate.

    and queen-size should be hypenated

    Now another comment - when writing, the scenes should move the story along, this doesn't, instead it keeps your MC, and more unfortunately, your reader, locked in a vacuum of grief. I think that an argument between an exasperated husband and a depressed wife is realistic, but you need to tighten it up and focus more on the tension that is the beginning of the end of their marriage.

    JMO, hope it helps.

    Lea

  8. #8
    martin shaw
    Guest
    1. Flashback Scene~chapter 1
    This is the second scene in my first chapter, right after Gavin leaves. It's a flashback, and I've heard some bad things about doing this. Is this done well enough? Thanks for your time!


    I undressed, arms SLIPPING through paper sleeves, never bothering to tie paper?PAPER TWICE? strings into bows. I remember wanting to slap SNATCH the phone from Gavin's hand; I needed him. Yet I also found comfort in his ability to disconnect.DON’T NEED

    The technician entered the room with a smile. I drew comfort from that (looking for strength in all things DONT NEED). Even her name carried assurance: Hope WAS HER NAME. (Yes,DONT NEED)it was a sign; my plea had been heard.

    In a dim room (lit by DONT NEED) (an ultrasound monitor TINY LIGHT, HIGHLIGHTED, the tube of jelly I sputtered as she squeezed remaining drops onto my belly. Gavin putting his phone away frightened me. I was BEcoming unraveled while his grip drained blood from my hand andTHE fear passed between us. Hot anger filled my lungs, burning... MY HEART BURNT. I felt mislead, realizing he was scared too. Damn him, he had stayed calm for me.

    The nurse searched for rapid swooshing??????? TOO UNKNOWN, and I asked questions: what she saw, what was wrong, (WHATdid she see) anything? Through vacant smileS she said Dr. Shriver was better suited to answer our questions, left the room and took hope with her.

    Gavin and I waited, no words exchanged between us ERR, QUIETLY!!!, my hand still drained of feeling.

    Returning, I scanned....their faces WERE, back and forth like, a ping-pong ball.. The doctor squeezed the same empty tube of jelly, determined to get something from it. I wanted scream, 'open another one, damn it!' He searched the monitor with furrowed brows; I remember the v shaped wrinkle between them.

    In a composed bedside manner, Gavin and I received the results of our final exam. Either we would pass and move on to parenthood, or we would fail.

    "I'm sorry to tell you this, there's no heartbeat."

    It was that simple, we'd failed. I couldn't argue or deny; I'd seen it too. No heart fluttered, stillness in the aquarium she swam ****INN GOOD LINE. I looked to Gavin for answers, he had none. Instead, he asked questions.

    How can you be sure?
    Are you certain?
    That can't be right.
    Look again.
    You're wrong.

    The depth of his feelings for our baby touched me.

    Searching again, the doctor amused us, pointing to the organ no longer pumping life.

    Like frost vanishing when sunshine reaches down and wipes the earth dry, she was gone.GOOD LINE AGAIN No time FORto locate tears, fears, disappoints or pain. I was induced and delivered a sleeping doll GOOD LINE. Our love flawlessly woven together????????? I remember placing her little nose to my face, desperate to feel breath on my cheek. Nothing. HEART RENDERIN’ GOOD LINE

    Gavin and I studied her NO FEATURES, counted fingers, holding her in arms not wanting to let go. But time ticked no matter the occasion and we handed our child over to THE science OF LIFE THROUGH A SURGEONS EYES. I wish we'd held her longer. Instead we clung to each others desperation.ERR DONT NEED

    "Sometimes these things happen. We don't understand why,” the doctor offeredING SOME SORT OF BLAH BLAH. "You're both healthy, and I don’t see any reason why you can’t try again."RE STRUCTURE THIS LAST SENTENCE, TOO COLD

    Try again? I didn't want another baby, I wanted her.

    I was right about the days that followed; they were the darkest .to find my way through DONT NEED FROM..TO. The day of the memorial service, I wore maternity clothes, and my breast swelled with milk NOT A GOOD DESCRIPTION. All this anguish, and I had nothing to carry outside of me, except a deflated belly and inflated breasts BREASTS AGAIN, GREAT!!!!!!. A body betraying a heart. GOOD LINE

    I took the standard six-week maternity leave from work. Spent all of that stumbling through darkness NEEDS FINISHING... CURTAINS SHUT IN MY MIND AND BEDROOM. Days went by unnoticed, nights went by awake. Nothing mattered.

    Gavin's way of coping was work. But I couldn't grasp anything substantial to pull me from the quicksand I was drowning in.DONT NEED, i WAS DROWNING

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Ohio
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    FYI, I woulda effen KILLED Gavin.

  10. #10
    Amy Lou
    Guest
    Cat~ thank you so much for your time and comments, also your other detailed comments. I appreciate the challenge to make this better. I will try

    Lea~as always, I love hearing from you. Thanks for pointing out the what's not working. It's sometimes hard to see when you're so close to something. Yes your comments do help a great deal. I just wonder if you would feel the very same if I could have posted more of what comes before. I will look back over this with your comments in mind. Thank you so much!

    Martin~ You're comments are always helpful and appreciated. It helps me to know what you liked and what needs work, because I admire your talent. Thanks again and I'll make those changes.

    Jena~I'll try not to read too much into your comment, but I think it's a good thing if you want to kill my mc's husband. That means my writing made you feel something! Thanks for reading this, I always appreciate your time

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