Writing a Book: Picking up Steam

I have some great news! This past week, I was finally able to meet my goal set all the way back in the first week of blogging. I have completed chapter three, and have completed most of, if not all of chapter four. It was an incredibly exciting experience, and I really just let my fingers go on their own path. So, I think this week, I am going to post an excerpt that gives you a sense of the overall “feel” of my book. As I have mentioned in previous posts, this book is really dark. The topic of serial killers, surprisingly enough, is not one that can be written about in a light-hearted manner, and I am actually surprising myself with how scary some of the thoughts are that are coming out on to the page. Once again, I want to emphasize that none of these are based on my own personal life. They are merely the mode through which I am telling this story. However, I would like to warn you before reading this segment from chapter four, that it gets a little rough. In this segment, we learn more about John’s past, and what led him to his life today. Please feel free to let me know of what you think of the excerpt. Along with this, as I said, I finished chapter three, which dives a little bit more into who Commissioner Howell is, and, in chapter four, introduced Angela Gordon, John’s love interest at work. I am really excited about having gotten so much written, and I cannot wait to continue.

Perspectives, Chapter Four: (For some context, this is right after he hears of the murder on the radio)

John turned off the radio. He had always been incredibly squeamish, and even the slightest mention of anything macabre made his stomach churn uncontrollably. He rolled his window down, and felt the sticky, humid air of downtown Atlanta hit his face. Oddly enough, John found this refreshing. John grew up in Alaska, where the weather was unbearable, and for six months of the year it stayed dark outside. Couple with the bad weather was John’s father, Norm Usher. Norm was a construction worker, with a side gig of coming home plastered and taking out his frustrations on his wife and only child. John still cringed every time he got undressed and heard the sound of his belt buckle jingle. Man, was that dad’s favorite. He would walk into the house half undressed anyway, and his belt was the most efficient and readily available stress management tool. John would hear the door open and close, hear the clunk of Timberland work boots on their linoleum floor, and brace for impact. After a few months, John learned to pretend to be asleep while the beatings occurred. That way, the small sliver of human side Norm possessed would come out. Even he would not beat on a defenseless sleeping boy. This sympathy, sadly, did not translate to John’s mother, Theresa Usher. John would still wake up hearing the screams of his mother. Especially those of 4:23 am, Monday, January 3rd, 1983. That night the screams came to an end, and were drowned out by the sound of Norm sobbing. He left the house, turning himself into the police. It was after nearly a week of hiding out in his room that John was finally picked up by a police officer. He was eight years old at the time; just old enough to know the weight of what his father had done. John was now left with one parent, the man responsible for killing his mother.

Later in the chapter, I used extreme detail to describe John going to see his father executed for the murder of John’s mother, as well as several crimes he committed while in prison. As you can imagine, this part is pretty dark as well, but I think that is the tone that this book needs to tell its story to the fullest.

Thank you so much for the feedback so far, there is much more of Perspectives to come.


2 thoughts on “Writing a Book: Picking up Steam

  1. Emma Bell Schwendeman

    Nice job- you finally completed what you set out to do. That needs to be commended. I am excited to get to read your excerpt of the book, and must I say that it is one twisting and dark novel you are writing. However, I think it will make it interesting because you will be able to go in depth in detail. I do not currently see much that needs fixed since I have not an overall view of what the beginning of the book discusses. However, I do not think you need someone to critique your work quite yet. Just let the writing process come naturally and do not hold back!

  2. Makenzie A Coduti

    Hey, great start! From reading this excerpt I can tell that you’re on the right path and just keep going. I don’t know what more to tell you. I’d have to read a little more to give you and ideas or things to fix (?). Again, great start and I’m excited to see where this is headed!

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