I participated in NaNoWriMo this year. The project I undertook and am still working on is an Action-Horror with a religious setting. I wanted to study how people see religion when faced with horror and demonic forces.
It’s an ambitious project for me because it’s opened my eyes to a lot of beliefs and systems of thought. The story is divided between four main characters and explores each of those characters in four sets of seven short stories written in first person perspective. The novel will be capped with a third-person omniscient chapter to complete each characters arc.
Arden is the fourth character but is an important one. His arc sees him the first to interact with my villain. Below is a small excerpt from my manuscript. It’s unedited, like all my NaNoWriMo stuff is but it’ll be the first of four glimpses of my characters and personal writing.
Still Small Voices
I sit on the couch the other side of the lobby and rest my head in my hands and stare at the carpet. The carpets are this weird maroon- red-blue-blend of colors that almost seem like they’re swirling in circles. The carpets remind me of those magic eye pictures. You know the ones. You relax your eyes a bit and then shift your vision in that way and you see something different. Of course I know the carpet at church isn’t a magic eye picture but… there’s something that comforts me about trying. Just the way my vision can shift to new patterns and forms, I’ve always thought people are like magic eye pictures. Sometimes you have to adjust the way you see them to find the true picture of who they are. For a class, I’ve been sitting in on court mediations. There’s this really nice woman named Raelene who has allowed me to sit in on her mediations for small claims court.
Of course normally you have to be a college student but I’ve been really fascinated with the whole process and how people communicate with each other, and I really want the extra credits for my senior law class. Just by sitting in on the mediations at American Fork District Courts I get out of a couple of my classes each week. I also get to be entertained; one, by the mediations as Raelene is like a communications genius and always seems to know what to say and how to problem solve in amazing and inventive ways, and two, by the extremely ignorant people who find themselves in mediation in the small claims court. It’s almost comedic. But here comes the entertaining part. It’s like those magic eye pictures and suddenly people’s eyes open. People start to see how their situation can be a win/win situation and everyone can go home happy. And that’s amazing. It’s like some unseen force comes over those in mediation and needs are met and expectations are met and everyone gets a chance to tell their story. The pictures open themselves up and you can see something amazing that wasn’t there only moments before.
This is how I want to be. I want to be like Raelene. I want to be able to communicate like that. I want to be able to tell my story, say how I’m feeling and have people understand me but instead I seem to have these failed mediations that devolve into one-sided communications where one of the parties refuses to continue. One thing you should know about mediation is, it may be court ordered but if one of the parties doesn’t want to do it, they don’t have to. They just have to show that they “tried” and it failed, whether the failure was their fault or not. Case in point, the discussions I’ve had with my mum lately have been mini failed mediations. Sometimes I’ll try to talk to her but all she wants to do is accuse me of some kind of behavior and other times I just don’t want to talk. I don’t even have the patience to tell her my story, which is a big thing with me. Unfortunately I have this pathological need to explain my behavior but with mum it soon devolves and sounds like I’m making excuses and despite my knowing that I’m not making excuses for myself I still need to explain and then mum goes off on one. I close my eyes. I feel a migraine coming on just knowing that I can see one of these discussions on the horizon. I can even put an exact time on it. It’s the moment Mum unlocks the car and I get in. She’ll want to talk about my leaving sacrament meeting.