NaNo So-So

I’m still plugging away with my ‘new’ idea – I’m definitely getting more written, just in writing  scenes that are quite clear in my head at this point. It’s a bit scatter-gun as I’m jumping forwards and backwards in the chapters of the story, so probably will be a bit inconsistent when I come back and re-read for editing.

Best solutions so far to the dreaded block? A playlist that gets me picturing the scenes like a mini-film in my head (you’ve got to have a montage!) and just jumping from one action / dialogue piece to another 🙂 Let’s see how we go from here.

If you’re interested, here’s the prologue updated a bit…

It wasn’t late – only about six o’clock – but the dark rain clouds hanging over the city had brought an unnatural, early night with them. He liked the darkness, so this was perfect. He was hungry and it had been a long journey. He wouldn’t wait to feed – he never did.

Crouching on the turret of the cathedral clock tower, he watched the figures below in the busy street. The little people scurried here and there, many of them hidden beneath a multi-coloured sea of umbrellas, trying to avoid the unexpected rain. It was the outskirts of the city and there were too many people here in the crowds, but from his position he could see that beyond the train station and bridge their numbers began to dwindle.

There would be a good place to start.


*   *   *

Corinne Hawkes sloshed her way quickly down the busy street, through the crowds of people ambling along the pavement. The weather was horrendous, with heavy rain pounding down, so you couldn’t escape getting soaked.

Why would you want to be out in this if you didn’t have to be?

People were crazy, she concluded, as she squeezed herself between a dawdling couple and the steam-filled window of a coffee shop. The air was full of brightness and colour – it wasn’t even December yet, but the Christmas shopping season with all the lights and the street markets was in full swing. Seeing everyone else carefree made her even grumpier that she was on her way to work. The holiday season was no fun, if you weren’t part of it.

She was past the crowds now and able to move faster. The alleyway to the right was unpleasant – filled with stinking bins and fire exits that looked like they’d never been used in the last ten years – but anything that offered a faster way to get out of this weather was a good thing in Corinne’s mind.

At the start of the street, where the people were still close-by, Corinne felt fine. But, as she hurried deeper into the dank, darkness of the alley she felt strange. An odd sensation at the back of her neck, under her hair, prickled on her skin. Corinne shivered and began to move faster, as cold fingers trickled down her spine telling her she was being followed or watched from the shadows. It suddenly dawned on her, how vulnerable she was in the deserted passageway: no one would notice if anything happened down here.

Why are you thinking about stuff like that right now?!

She shook her head, scolding herself for getting wound up. “It’s nothing,” she muttered, sounding convincing. Even so, as she stuffed her hands deep into her coat pocket and found her house keys, she gripped them tightly in her fist, pointing them out through her knuckles. You know, just in case.

She escaped the alleyway, only to be greeted by a fresh blast of wind, which pushed more rain straight into her face. It was a really bad day to have come out without an umbrella.

You’ve been living here for two years now, you should know that Manchester can always guarantee you rain.

Pulling the hood of her jacket tighter against her face, Corinne ignored the zebra crossing further up the street – one hundred metres felt a long way today – and sprinted across the main road instead, dodging the two nearest, slow moving cars.

Up ahead the tram station beckoned: bright green sign and white florescent lights. Wood Green Road station. It was like a beacon, shining through the darkness and calling her in with the promise of shelter.

“Finally,” she muttered and scurried into the station, pausing for a few, drippy minutes at the ticket machine. Her wet fingers stuck to everything as she searched through her purse to find change, but eventually her gluey hands found what she needed and she pushed a few coins into the slot and grabbed her ticket from the tray at the bottom.

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