While I haven't had much time to read YA over the past few months, I have been working away at a manuscript submission for my Creative Writing class. To tell you the truth, I often doubted why I opted for this elective in the first place but I've grown to love it and now want to actually make an effort to read all those classics I've added to my wish list over the years.
#creativewritingisHARD! I take my hat off to all those authors who manage to write page after page of their manuscript. Our piece needed to fit in the guidelines of 800-1200 words for the initial submission and then up to 2000 words for the final polished piece. I can not actually recall ever having completed a story so it was a struggle for me in the beginning but as the weeks pushed along, I found it easier to write and I'm really proud of this piece even though it is noticeably missing an ending. I'll tell you my thoughts on where it might go a little further down the page so as not to spoil the fantastical reading opportunity that awaits you.
In a few words, the story is about a girl who finds a wallet and then becomes the lead suspect. There is a focus on colour symbolism (orange haze of the photo, striking blue eyes of the boy in the store, etc.) and I think it really adds to the suspense. It started out as a hypothetical writing activity for class and I just ran with it. I didn't exactly intend to build suspense but I'm really happy with how that has played out, I think it is the best feature of the story so far and I look forward to finishing it off at some point.
So what do you think? Any tips on where I can take the story next? I see the story going to a fantasy type piece although it looks like a mystery fiction story at the moment. I think Joey might turn out to be a shapeshifter who is able to morph into the body of those he sees in photos and is exploring this ability after it recently became rather noticeable. Either way, I hope I do end up working on this story a little more. I think it has been the most creative piece of writing I have ever worked on and I'm really proud of it :)I was walking through town when I found a wallet in the street. I had a moment of doubt where I questioned what I would do if there were any money inside. Oh well, I flipped open the brown leather case where there was nothing to be found. I checked all the pockets to make sure I hadn’t missing anything only to find an old looking photograph. I couldn’t help but stare at it for a few seconds feeling an eerie connection to the man in the photo. It was one of those old photographs from the 70s with the orange haze and the focus all wrong. The photographer had clearly taken the person in the photo by surprise, you could see the look of shock in his eyes.
The police station was only up the road, maybe they’d know what to do with it, or maybe they’d look at my funny and throw it straight in the trash. Either way, I crossed the street making my way into the heritage-listed building.I could only describe the sergeant’s reaction as completely perplexed. He checked all the pockets even though I told him I’d been through them already before he became quite serious.“Do you know this man?” he asked bluntly, holding up the photograph.“No, I told you, I just found the wallet outside the bakery and thought someone might be able to claim it,” I replied, before asking, “Can I leave now?”He explained that the man in the photo was reported missing earlier this morning under suspicious circumstances and I was now the lead suspect.------------At work the next day, I tried to play it cool but every other customer seemed to know the case back to front like they’d had a chance to read the case files or something. Little did they know I had managed to take a peek at the missing persons report while the sergeant attended to a call. I only really had time to skim the notes before he came back in the room but I did manage to find out where the man in the photo was last seen. It was safe to say, I was itching to get off work and do a bit of investigating for myself. Surely, I wasn’t the only one to make the connection to the increase in crime reports over the past few months.As the hours dragged on, I could feel myself becoming more and more caught up in the case as if I’d known the missing person. Who knows, maybe he’d been a regular at the bakery that would explain why he seemed so familiar to me.Right, that was it. I couldn’t wait any longer. I caught Stella with a load of dishes and casually asked her whether I could take the early break to which she replied with a mumbled yes. Before she had time to rethink her answer, I was out the door still wearing my apron.The address was a bit of a distance away but I didn’t mind the ride. It gave me a chance to think about what in the world I was going to say when I got there.
Despite a shabby front, the place was actually well run. There were a few people down the back browsing the endless row of magazines. The guy at the counter had somewhat of an angry look on his face. I guess a few people had been in here with the same idea or at least that’s what I told myself as I approached with a couple of straightforward questions. He didn’t really give me much to go on other than a grunt of acknowledgment. I was about to turn around and walk right out of there in a huff when I caught sight of another employee stacking shelves.“Pretty sure you’re not going to find anything around here,” he said nonchalantly.I hadn’t realized he saw me looking in his direction until I turned around and caught sight of my reflection in the window. “Pretty sure I’m free to peruse a news agency at my own leisure” I quickly responded.“Okay, Nancy Drew… feel free to peruse.” He responded with a side grin pasted on his face.At this point, I had a moment of déjà vu as I noticed his striking blue eyes. They were of a particular shade of light blue that made me stop and stare for what felt like an eternity. I shook my head in an attempt to snap out of the daze before finally realizing they were uncannily similar to those of the man in the photo.
I wasn’t exactly looking forward to being interviewed again but the sergeant assured me it was just a formality. As I walked through the corridor, I couldn’t help but think of the criminals who had passed through these doors and the fact that I was now being treated with the same level of suspicion. The sergeant’s offsider startled me by immediately asking why I was snooping around the news agency yesterday afternoon. I wondered whether if they really did have surveillance on me as he snapped his fingers prompting a response. I looked across the table trying to think of a reasonable explanation as he slid the photo of Miles across the table. It was noticeably lacking in that iridescent blue eye colour I so vividly recalled before he focused my attention again.“We have reason to believe you knew the victim in question, Miles Teller prior to his disappearance on October 12,” he said.I shook my head in confusion as more photographs came at me. I leaned in closer realizing I was in the background of the first shot. I felt my breathing slow as I then spotted myself in the other candid photographs.I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible so I could forget all about this case. I was now incredibly glad I’d made the decision to rent the spare room out to Stella a few months back, I don’t think I’d be comfortable going back to an empty house now that I knew I had been followed for what looked like weeks and months.
I entered the lift in a daze as a few people shuffled out. I moved closer to the handrail noticing a familiar face in the corner of the lift but I couldn’t exactly look head on without making it noticeably obvious so I began to ponder the events of the past few days. I worked on putting it all into a sensible narrative but simply found myself questioning my own actions. If I hadn’t picked up the wallet in the first place, I probably wouldn’t be in this situation at all. At that very second, the lights flickered and the familiar looking guy fell forward. Surely, I was having some sort of meltdown… standing right next to me was Miles Teller. I blinked again realizing that it was in fact the boy from the news agency, how could I have gotten those two so mixed up? I was in complete shock as the lift came to a sudden halt. I splayed out against the wall as the lights finally lit up again. He made a move to the front of the lift probably noticing the look of concern in my eyes. After two or three attempts, he resigned to the fact that we were stuck in here indefinitely.“Look, I think we got off on the wrong foot,” he said as he motioned for a handshake, “I’m Joey.”To which I responded with a friendly grimace before he explained that he had also been called in for questioning. Apparently, he had been shown some pretty creepy shots of his activity around town too. I heard some grumblings from outside the lift door, maybe we wouldn’t be trapped in here for much longer.“What a coincidence, two of my lead suspects caught in the one lift,” I could hear the sergeant saying as the doors slightly jarred open.
Q: Have you ever attempted a short story piece? How did it turn out?