So, I’m back in the Big Apple – New York, one of my favourite cities in the world. And as I’ve said before, one of the reasons I love New York so much is the inspiration it offers.
The Arts are there at every turn, and this week I’ve been enjoying a very cultured week of Broadway and off-Broadways shows.
But rather ironically, it’s not the musicals which have got me writing… it’s the (rather awful, dare I say) movie that I watched last night!
Now, I happily admit to being a Twilight fan. One of my main motivations for finally committing Flicker to paper was reading the four part series in a matter of days and wanting to craft something like that myself. I LOVED the first film, and devoured the books one after the other, but frankly, Breaking Dawn Part One left me rather cynical in my cinema seat. The whole film seemed like a cash-cow. By stretching the preamble of the last book out to make an entire film, it seemed the movie moguls were simply trying to double their revenue from the final film, knowing full well that all the Twi-eny boppers out there will happily put their hand in their pocket twice.
I don’t want to turn this blog post into a film review, and I did have numerous issues with the movie, but the main thing that left me unfulfilled as a fan was the total lack of action in the film. It dragged, and dragged and dragged. If I think back to the first movie, my favourite scene was the baseball scene. High Voltage, loud, fast, superhuman baseball, with thunder and lightning, and the appearance of murderers, and a kick-ass sound track to boot. It was awesome.
Flash forward to Breaking Dawn Part One, and you have two hours of troubled emotional music, montages of old footage, and dragged out romantic scenes. Now, I’m a girl, and a self-confessed romantic … but give me a sick bag! I WANT SOME ACTION!
Now, those of you following my work will know I’m currently back to square one, re-editting my first novel Flicker. It’s been rejected by a handful of publishers, and when I first got rejected, I buried myself in a second, very different, book, however I’m back to Flicker – a story I crafted, and loved, for a very long time. But I know it’s not perfect, and I think one of the greatest skills as an artist, is being able to recognise when you’re own work is flawed.
One of the issues I have with Flicker is it’s an introduction. The whole book is the preamble to a series of five adrenaline filled novels which will take place around the globe. I want to ease the reader in gently, revealing facets of my new imaginary world piece by piece, rather than throwing him or her into the book and just saying ‘here’s a bunch of teenagers with super powers!’ But the problem is, I don’t want it to be too tame. I don’t want to keep the reader waiting too long for the big kick-ass super human baseball scene, because in reality, without an international franchise and teenagers declaring themselves in Teams behind my two main male characters, it’s unlikely anyone is gonna wait around too long.
Like me in the cinema at Times Square last night, the reader needs action. As soon as the story can possibly warrant it … and that … is hopefully what the reader has got!
Check out the new scene …
This scene takes place mid way through the second chapter, just after Flic has introduced herself properly to Toby, and watched Isabelle telling her cousin Anthony that being afraid of the water isn’t cowardly, people will understand ….
by C-C Lester
Part of Chapter Two – Foundations
‘Camilla the Superior’ had beaten Flic to it, and collected the key to their cabin before her. Flic frowned, sure that the other girl would have secured the best bunk by now. She hurried through the narrow corridors of the boat, eager to find their cabin as quickly as possible, only to turn a corner and find Anthony and Isabella blocking her way.
The pair were oblivious to her presence. Ant was holding his cousin up against the white-washed metal wall by her throat, his face pressed close to hers as he hissed ‘How dare you! How dare you embarrass me like that in front of everyone! In front of the others! You undermined me! You made me look weak! You know how important this is to me!’
Isabella whimpered, helpless. Anthony adjusted his grip on her neck, taking his hand away just long enough for Flic to see the red raw skin beneath his palm. He was hurting her. Really hurting her.
Without another thought, Flic bowled headlong into him, taking him by complete surprise and knocking him off his feet.
‘What the Hell are you doing?’ she shouted down at him, as he scrambled to his feet. ‘Picking on someone barely half your size! Isabella didn’t make you look weak, you made yourself look like a fool!’
‘Let me get this straight … Flic,’ he hurled her name at her like an insult. ‘You think you’re a match for me?’ Anthony squared up, rising to his full height of over six foot. ‘Do you have any idea who I am? Who my family are?’ He looked as if he were about to spit on her. ‘You’re nothing but a pitiful little orphan. A charity case!’
The words winded her, so painfully raw and unnecessary. She gaped up at him in total shock. No one had ever spoken to her that way before. She ought to crumble. To let the flood of tears that seemed to permanently well behind her eyes spring free.
But Flic had done her fair share of mourning over the past three months, and she was done crying. Instead, Anthony’s vicious and unfounded attack ignited something inside her.
‘You know nothing about my family. Nothing!’ she spat angrily.
‘Wanna bet?’ Ant leered at her.
Flic glared up at him, and without a second thought, brought her hand slicing through the air and into his jaw.
Flic blanched immediately, shocked. She had never slapped anyone before. In fact she had never done anything that impulsive before. Somehow Ant had managed to flick a switch that up until this moment she hadn’t even known existed. But that wasn’t what had caused her shock. Hot, violent pain coursed through her palm. Burning. As her palm connected with Ant’s face, it felt as if she had thrust it right into the heart of a fire. Adrenaline coursed through her veins, willing her to ignore the pain, but she knew it was far more intense than it ought to be. This wasn’t the sting of the strike that she was feeling. Her palm was quite literally burning, bright violent red and radiating heat as if she had placed her hand right on the flat of an iron. What had she done? She sank down to the ground, clutching her hand to her chest, strangely overwhelmed.
Flic turned her gaze from her scarlet palm, to Ant, staring up at him in disbelief, but he wouldn’t meet her eye. He simply turned on his heel without a word, and marched off in search of his own cabin, leaving both girls crumpled in his wake.
Flic looked over at Isabella.
‘Are you ok?’ she asked, rising slowly to her feet, and extending her undamaged hand to the British girl. Isabella accepted it coyly.
‘I’m so sorry …’ she said, shaking her head in disbelief.
‘Trust me, it’s not your fault.’ Flic replied, not quite believing any of the past five minutes.
Isabella’s hand was at her throat, covering the brilliant red welts of Anthony’s grip.
‘How’s your neck?’ Flic asked carefully. ‘Would you like me to have a look?’
Isabella winced slightly, and then carefully drew her hand away.
Flic examined Isabella’s porcelain skin, gently brushing her fingertips over the spot where Ant had choked his cousin.
She pressed her lips together, a mixture of happiness and concern. The scarlet flush on Isabella’s skin had disappeared. And yet she could have sworn her throat had been red raw a few moments ago.
‘How does it look?’ Isabella asked nervously, not sure how to read Flic’s expression.
‘It’s fine!’ Flic replied, surprising even herself. She shook her head, ‘Sorry, I just thought it was gonna be worse than it is … from further away it looked bright red.’
Isabella shrugged a little awkwardly. ‘I get pretty bad heat rash when I get emotional, probably just that.’
‘Thank you …’ she added quietly.
Flic shook her head. ‘Don’t, please I was completely out of order! I don’t know what came over me … it was totally irrational! I shouldn’t have hit him. I’ve never hit anyone before!’ She balked.
Isabella lay her hand on Flic’s. ‘He provoked you! That’s what he’s like … He shouldn’t have said those things about you, about your family. Please don’t feel bad. You did me a huge favour.’
Flic stared down at her hand, still unconvinced. Running her thumb along the life line of her palm, she frowned. The colour of her own skin was almost back to normal too. The sting of the burn reduced to the tinkle of pins and needles. Maybe she had been mistaken. Maybe that was what it felt like when you slapped someone after all.
‘Are you going to be ok?’ Flic asked, turning her concern to Isabella once again. ‘Rooming with him? I mean, we could ask for you to swap? I’m sure there’s space for you in with me and Camilla?’
Isabella shook her head. ‘Thank you, but I’ll be fine. I know my cousin … it’s all just hot air. He’ll be apologising in no time!’ She added with a false brightness.
Flic remained unconvinced, but sensing that the conversation was over, nodded gently in Isabella’s direction and turned away to find her cabin.
* * *
© C-C Lester, 2011