Book, Writing

About the book II

People sometimes ask me if I find it difficult to write a book. The answer is no. The writing itself is easily done, you just sit down, open the laptop and jot down the words as they come. Writing a good book is an entirely different question, and yes, I find it very difficult to re-read my own writing without hammering my head against the wall in despair.

Another thing I discovered as being very difficult is the lack of interaction. I got so used to the constant stream of communication that comes with writing a blog – I almost took it for granted! You think about something, you write it down, you hit publish and then the fun bit begins: comments are trickling in. Now, I just sit at home and write and write and write and… nothing.

So. I decided to share a tiny bit of the book (i.e. its very first draft) with you. You are more than welcome to cringe with me, to tell me you like it or to – please gently – tell me I’d rather consider returning to my day job in finance.

***

All was blue. The tiles at the bottom of the pool, the airbed floating over me and the sky on the other side of the surface. The water around me absorbed the laughter and the chitter-chatter at the edge of the pool. I was drenched in tranquillity, drowning out my own noisy thoughts. I took another stroke and came up next to the float. Léon’s skin was hot and sticky from the early afternoon sun. He opened one eye and sleepily smiled at me. Under the eyes of his friends, I propped my forearms onto the mattress and leant in to kiss him.

‘Wanna go for a nap?’ He whispered.

‘Let me get dry first.’ I dived back under the surface and watched the sunbeams turn the tiles into turquoises before I finally pushed myself up and climbed out of the water.

To one side of the pool, a few stepping stones led to the partly canopied veranda of the five-bedroom villa. To the other side, an old plane tree covered parts of the lawn in shade. The lawn stretched out for about 20 metres before it suddenly dropped, giving way to a gorgeous view across the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. After 12 hours driving, I had been standing there the night before, silently taking in the beauty of it all. The swaying lights of the boats on the dark blue sea, the stars in the sky above and the warm breeze that had caressed my skin.

‘I am going to visit León and I don’t think that we’ll stop at holding hands.’ I had called Christopher from the car.

‘I can’t believe that you do that to me.’ He had sounded furious.

You did that to me in the first place.’

‘So this is all about revenge?’

‘I am not going to Saint-Tropez to pay you back. I want you to listen to me. It’s over Christopher. It’s over and I want you to leave me alone. Stop sending messages. Stop calling me!’

‘He’s been there all the time, hasn’t he?’

‘You just don’t get it, right? This has nothing to do with Léon.’ I yelled down the phone. ‘Why can’t you take no for an answer?’

‘Because we are married!’ He had yelled back.

I just hung up on him.

30 Comments

  1. Deb – it’s good! Just one thing: when reading the last few sentences, I thought ‘hurl’ meant throwing down the phone… in which case how could she still continue talking? I realise now what you actually mean, but maybe a different verb might work better?

    More please!

    LCM x

  2. *blushes* Thanks guys!
    Btw, it’s not the beginning, it’s from the middle of chapter 8. But it’s the beginning of a disaster… 🙂

  3. simone says

    I like it….let me know when you have your first book-signing 🙂

    Well done you!

  4. ooooo. Who IS she. Who is Leon. Whats the story with Christopher? Why does he want him to stop calling her…why is is still calling her? How is she so lucky to be swimming in a pool in St Tropez anyway?

    Keep it coming!

  5. I love it, and now I need to go take a shower because I have images of what Leon is going to do to her. Though I have never had anyone ask me if I want to go take a nap. did you just put the G rated sentence for blog purpose. Maybe he could say to her. Let’s go inside or Do you want to go inside or Let’s take this inside. I need you. I want you. It is funny how different British language is from American. It took me a second to realize what an air bed was and why it was floating over her head. I am glad she came up because for a second I thought the person was dead. Good luck!

  6. Ooh loving it!! You’re descriptive writing is fantastic – the sign of a good book is when you can picture the scene exactly… and I could. More please!! xxx

  7. I think you create atmosphere beautifully but I found the dialogue a bit stilted ….needs a bit of work but keep on trucking

  8. Love the first paragraph – really atmospheric.

    You have really set the scene. One small criticism (hope you don’t mind) – I
    think you need to look a little at your tenses (could be the because English is not your first language). When you skip into the past, starting with ‘I had been standing there the night before’, the use of ‘had’ each time is a bit distracting. You could simply start a new paragraph and turn it round a bit and readers will understand it has already happened like a flashback rather than happening now. But tenses are very hard.

    Looking forward to reading more!

  9. James says

    Definitely peaked my interest! I can’t wait to buy my personally autographed copy.

  10. @Emma: I agree, when you read it one go it does seem a bit stilted. The character actually does get increasingly worked up the more she talks, I guess that doesn’t really come across well.

    @DeerBaby: Thanks!! I was already wondering how to do that.

  11. I want to know what happens next. I am an aspiring writer too and have nearly finished my second novel. Have you got an agent or putblisher?
    Tracey

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  13. Nice one. And yes, writing a novel is a very solitary occupation….showing it to someone is terrifying, so well done for giving us a taster…which, btw, is fab.

  14. You are so brave! I’m always fantasising about writing a book, but never dare to actually do it…

    Good start!

  15. Hello- finally I am commenting from a computer- rather than reading on an i phone.

    I am so excited about getting to read some of the book! and I genuinely really enjoyed this segment and crucially want to know what happens next! I like that the setting of St Tropez is exotic and transporting and you build the tension between your lead character and her ex very well even just those few paragraphs.

    Also in just a few paragraphs I’m sensing she is a lead character who is very easy to empathise with, which is important.

    I think chitter- chatter perhaps sounds a bit old fashioned- but on the other hand it’s a good word for sounding like what it does and perhaps chatter alone would be too stark.

    It’s so exciting!!

  16. Ooh so glad you posted some of your novel, have been dying to ask you what it’s about etc. but thought that would be too forward!! Ha! Well done brave you! It’s all of the above comments and more!
    I love proof-reading and would be happy to help you with an extra pair of eyes to spot any mistakes etc. FBxx

  17. Love it! And want to read more! I really love the description of St. Tropez and I want to know what is up with the husband! Like Rose, only criticism is “chitter-chatter”–it distracted me, but hey, it’s just one word so not that much of a distraction. I want to go swimming now, in the pool of a 5 bedroom villa in St. Tropez!

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