“Who are you?”

“Who are you?”

A Story by Beverly Jane
"

She wants to know someone that already knows her.

"
I reach my finger tips out to touch the glass in front of me, unsure and confused. With trembling hands I touch the glass, and a quiet gasp reaches my lips as the mirror cracks slightly just at my touch. The crack runs from my finger, like a spider web spreading through the distorted image of myself. Without a single thought in mind, I place my palms against the glass, and the sound of shattering glass is heard. It echoes in the empty space of the room, as the mirror shatters towards me. I knew that I should probably move, but I can’t seem to move a muscle as the glass cuts into my fingers, leaving blood in its wake before the shards drop to the floor.

The mirror cracked… and I lost myself.

“Oh my gods, (MC) what are you doing?” I blink but don’t turn as someone grasps me by the shoulders turning me to look at them. Their wild eyes look at me, both confusion and concern crossing their features. Their eyes were like honey, on a summer day, and I wanted to know more about them. What was behind those haunted honey eyes? I had to know, and so I asked…

“Who are you?”

© 2022 Beverly Jane


Author's Note

Beverly Jane
My friends and I started something yesterday to try to get ourselves back into our writing mojo. We send each other a prompt everyday, (taking turns) and then send them to each other to critique. I’m not sure what piece I’ll be attaching this too, or if I’m going to leave it on it’s own. The prompt for this was “the mirror cracked and I lost myself” and “who are you?” If you guys like this I might continue to post these on a daily. Feel feel to leave opinions!

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Featured Review

• I hope one day I will be a wonderful writer and that people will love my writing.

In that case, I have bad news and good news. 😃

The bad news is that you can write every day, all day, using the skills you now possess, and you will never improve.

The good news is that the problem isn't related to talent, or, how well you write. In fact, what’s holding you back isn’t your fault. And, it’s fixable.

I’ll add to that, that your English teacher, on reading this piece would probably be pleased. An editor, on the other hand, wouldn’t be. And, I’ll add that what you’re doing is what we all do when we turn to fiction, because we are all victims of what I call, The Great Misunderstanding: We think we learned how to write.

But did we? After all, they offer degree programs in Commercial Fiction-Writing. And you have to assume that at least some of what’s taught is necessary. Right?

We forget something else that’s critical: All professions are acquired in addition to the general skills of our school days. So though we don’t realize it, we leave school exactly as prepared to write fiction as to pilot a commercial airliner. And because the pros make it seem so natural and easy, we never catch on. Making it worse, our always writing works perfectly for us, because we begin reading already knowing the story.

But look at the opening as a reader must:

• I reach my finger tips out to touch the glass in front of me, unsure and confused.

As you read the first word your mind calls up the image you held as you wrote this. You know the gender, age, situation, and backstory of the protagonist. So you know WHY this person is touching the mirror. You know why s/he is “unsure and confused.”

The reader? Not a clue. For them, someone unknown, who could be 9 or 90 is acting for unknown reasons. Sure, if they read on, they'll learn more. But can you retroactively remove confusion? Is there such a thing as a second first-impression?

You, using the skills you were taught, and practiced by writing all those reports and essays we were assigned through the years, are writing a report. And the goal of a report? To provide an informational experience. The goal of fiction? As E. L. Doctorow put it: “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” In other words, provide an emotional experience. Diametrically in oppoition to how we learned to approach the act of writing.

Using the skills we were given in school we tell the reader that the protagonist cried at a funeral. But when writing fiction, we give the reader reason to weep. We make them care and feel, not be better informed on events in the life of a fictional person. And in doing that, you have pretty much everyone who turns to writing fiction for company.

So the trick is to acquire some of the skills the pros take for granted. Use them, and the act of writing becomes a LOT more fun, as the protagonist becomes your co-writer.

I know this is pretty far from what you hoped to hear, but since you’ll never address the problem you don’t see as being one, and want to write with greater skill, I thought you’d want to know. And once you pick up some of those tricks, you're going to blow the minds of your critiquing group.

And with that in mind, here's a quick start link to one of the most powerful methods of drawing the reader into the story. If it make sense, and you want to know more, the book the article was condensed from is Dwight Swain’s, Techniques of the Selling Writer, which recently came out of copyright protection. It's the best I've found, to date, at imparting and clarifying the "nuts-and-bolts" issues of creating a scene that will sing to the reader. The address of an archive site where you can read or download it free is just below. Copy/paste the address into the URL window of any Internet page and hit Return to get there.

https://archive.org/details/TechniquesOfTheSellingWriterCUsersvenkatmGoogleDrive4FilmMakingBsc_ChennaiFilmSchoolPractice_Others

Try a few chapters. I think you’ll be glad you did. And if an overview of some of the issues might help, the articles in my WordPress writing blog are based on the kind of thing you’ll find in such a book.

Hang in there, and keep on writing.

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/the-grumpy-old-writing-coach/

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Beverly Jane

4 Months Ago

Hi! Thank you very much for your review, and taking the time to write it. If it were younger me, I s.. read more



Reviews

and a quiet gasp reaches my lips as the mirror cracks slightly just at my touch.
The crack runs from my finger, like a spider web spreading through the distorted image of myself.
Without a single thought in mind, I place my palms against the glass, and the sound of shattering glass is heard.as the mirror shatters towards me
I knew that I should probably move, but I can’t seem to move a muscle as the glass cuts into my fingers, l

Posted 4 Months Ago


• I hope one day I will be a wonderful writer and that people will love my writing.

In that case, I have bad news and good news. 😃

The bad news is that you can write every day, all day, using the skills you now possess, and you will never improve.

The good news is that the problem isn't related to talent, or, how well you write. In fact, what’s holding you back isn’t your fault. And, it’s fixable.

I’ll add to that, that your English teacher, on reading this piece would probably be pleased. An editor, on the other hand, wouldn’t be. And, I’ll add that what you’re doing is what we all do when we turn to fiction, because we are all victims of what I call, The Great Misunderstanding: We think we learned how to write.

But did we? After all, they offer degree programs in Commercial Fiction-Writing. And you have to assume that at least some of what’s taught is necessary. Right?

We forget something else that’s critical: All professions are acquired in addition to the general skills of our school days. So though we don’t realize it, we leave school exactly as prepared to write fiction as to pilot a commercial airliner. And because the pros make it seem so natural and easy, we never catch on. Making it worse, our always writing works perfectly for us, because we begin reading already knowing the story.

But look at the opening as a reader must:

• I reach my finger tips out to touch the glass in front of me, unsure and confused.

As you read the first word your mind calls up the image you held as you wrote this. You know the gender, age, situation, and backstory of the protagonist. So you know WHY this person is touching the mirror. You know why s/he is “unsure and confused.”

The reader? Not a clue. For them, someone unknown, who could be 9 or 90 is acting for unknown reasons. Sure, if they read on, they'll learn more. But can you retroactively remove confusion? Is there such a thing as a second first-impression?

You, using the skills you were taught, and practiced by writing all those reports and essays we were assigned through the years, are writing a report. And the goal of a report? To provide an informational experience. The goal of fiction? As E. L. Doctorow put it: “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” In other words, provide an emotional experience. Diametrically in oppoition to how we learned to approach the act of writing.

Using the skills we were given in school we tell the reader that the protagonist cried at a funeral. But when writing fiction, we give the reader reason to weep. We make them care and feel, not be better informed on events in the life of a fictional person. And in doing that, you have pretty much everyone who turns to writing fiction for company.

So the trick is to acquire some of the skills the pros take for granted. Use them, and the act of writing becomes a LOT more fun, as the protagonist becomes your co-writer.

I know this is pretty far from what you hoped to hear, but since you’ll never address the problem you don’t see as being one, and want to write with greater skill, I thought you’d want to know. And once you pick up some of those tricks, you're going to blow the minds of your critiquing group.

And with that in mind, here's a quick start link to one of the most powerful methods of drawing the reader into the story. If it make sense, and you want to know more, the book the article was condensed from is Dwight Swain’s, Techniques of the Selling Writer, which recently came out of copyright protection. It's the best I've found, to date, at imparting and clarifying the "nuts-and-bolts" issues of creating a scene that will sing to the reader. The address of an archive site where you can read or download it free is just below. Copy/paste the address into the URL window of any Internet page and hit Return to get there.

https://archive.org/details/TechniquesOfTheSellingWriterCUsersvenkatmGoogleDrive4FilmMakingBsc_ChennaiFilmSchoolPractice_Others

Try a few chapters. I think you’ll be glad you did. And if an overview of some of the issues might help, the articles in my WordPress writing blog are based on the kind of thing you’ll find in such a book.

Hang in there, and keep on writing.

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/the-grumpy-old-writing-coach/

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Beverly Jane

4 Months Ago

Hi! Thank you very much for your review, and taking the time to write it. If it were younger me, I s.. read more

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Added on September 11, 2022
Last Updated on September 11, 2022
Tags: Mystery, romance, fantasy

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Beverly Jane
Beverly Jane

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Hello, wow! It's been a while since I have been on this site, it's almost like looking at a time capsule. It's been a while since I've had the same passion that I had back in high school for writing. .. more..

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