Thursday, June 5, 2014

# On Writing # Post

Throwback Thursday with J. Rose Allister


My newest blog segment is here! Throwback Thursday will be a time to showcase the very first book or story written by fellow authors.  To start things off, I'll share a bit about my own first  piece of fiction.

Throwback Thursday with J. Rose Allister


Let me take you back to 2002. It was a dark and stormy night...well, not really, but the setting in my first work was pretty close. My first written fiction was a short story titled A Novel Murder. This was one of a few short tales written back when I never, ever dreamed myself capable of writing a WHOLE full-length novel. Also back when I thought I would become a mystery or horror writer.  

The plot: an author with a bad case of writer's block finds inspiration from an unexpected source--direct from the serial killer who's been painting the town red with the blood of his victims.

Here's a sample of the story:

     Taylor sat up to smooth the comforter twisted around his legs, then punched at the sides of his pillow until satisfied with its contours. Outside, the rain had become more persistent.  Lightning flashed as he started to lay back down, illuminating the room momentarily with a bluish-white radiance--just long enough to catch a glimpse of something.
            A shadowy figure was bent over the computer desk.
            Taylor sat bolt upright and tried to stare through the darkness, swallowing the lump his pounding heart had forced into his throat.  Was someone standing there?  He reached for the flashlight kept near his bed and pointed the beam towards the place where he'd seen the apparition. 
            It was vacant.
            Keeping the flashlight trained on the spot, Taylor slowly slid out of bed and crept over to the nearest light switch. Taking a deep breath in an effort to draw courage, he flipped it on. Nothing. 
           As he moved towards the center of the room, something grazed his shoulder lightly from behind. He jumped and spun around, and the fly that had landed on him buzzed off in alarm.
            "Damn flies," he muttered into the darkness. “Grown man, wetting himself over an insect.” 
            Taylor turned his attention towards the desk, and the chair that sat next to it. The chair! He spoke aloud as it dawned on him. "That’s what I saw, for chrissakes. One night talking about murder plots and I get spooked by a damn chair. Be better off writing travel brochures."
            Relieved but a good deal embarrassed for his foolishness, Taylor turned back to his bed when something else caught his eye. The computer screen was on.  Had he left it that way? He headed over to shut it off, noticing that something was different.   
            His stomach turned itself inside out as he read words that hadn't been there before.

Definitely not what I write these days! The story was rejected everywhere I submitted to. One place told me not to bother writing anymore. Most gave form rejections. A couple said, "promising voice, but not right for us." In looking back, it was just too cheesy--and yeah, the whole "writer with writing block" thing wasn't exactly original. It remains one of my only finished pieces of fiction that has never been published. Luckily, those rejections not only didn't discourage me, that first story was so fun to create that I've never recovered from the bite of the Must Write fly. :) 
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I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

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