1.20.2011

The Beginning of a Story

You were all so gracious to me yesterday when I asked of you that small favor and I got such a wonderful response! It is so very uplifting to hear that there might actually be interest in what I write. I've decided to post a little of the beginning, just to see what you all have to say. I so value your opinion, though Felicity was right when she said that I should write it anyway. I guess it just comes down to being inspired to write.
 
So this is the first few paragraphs of my story, which has a good thirty thousand words written so far {i.e. over half of the book}. I write in a different style than most contemporary authors, and I've come to realize that this is okay. I don't want to sound like anyone else anyway.
 
I don't mind criticism as long as it's constructive. But if you are going to leave a mean comment just because you have no purpose in life other than to just put others down, I have to ask you {politely, of course} to leave my blog now. Because there is no room for your inflated ego and sour personality here.
 
That being said, please leave any feedback that you have, positive or negative, and I will take it into consideration when revising and writing this piece. I just warn you now, however, that this is a work in progress. I have edited these few paragraphs more than any other in the novel, and I'm still not sure if it's the way to go. Also, I apologize if anyone from Kansas is offended. I think I randomly picked a place on the map to set my story, and it's definitely not a personal attack in any way. So, enjoy.
 
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Chapter 1  

 

Jane Austen once wrote that "happiness in marriage is purely a matter of chance." While this antiquated notion of matrimony may not fit with the modern requirement of love in marriage, it's still a truth universally acknowledged (though generally unspoken) in the small town of Selden, Kansas. To understand Selden requires abandoning all previously held beliefs of morality, equality, love, and compassion, and replacing them with the simple fact that all young, single women must surely be in want of a husband.   

 

Disagreeing with this basic value of Selden is a crime paralleled only by voting Democratic or missing church on Sundays. Being guilty of all three unforgivable transgressions is virtually unheard of, save for one young woman.   

To be clear, Kate Devlin did not dispute all aspects of this "fairytale" life that many young women in Selden aspire to. Her want of a husband paralleled, if not exceeded, that of other comparable girls in the town. Where she differs, however, is her possession of a quality which is noticeably absent from the debutante balls and bridal showers.   

 

It may seem appalling that self-respect is an unfamiliar attribute to the majority of women here. This is because the one value that surpasses all others is the importance of family; and being true to your family means accepting whatever role that family has assigned to you.  

 

It is apparent, therefore the value of women in this place. Kate accepted this fact, until she was confronted with what it truly meant. When her beau of eight years was exposed as a philanderer, as most men were tolerated to be, she committed another inconceivable act by refusing to forgive him. It was at this decisive moment when she realized her potential as a human being and refused to accept that life anymore. 

 

It took Kate approximately forty-eight seconds after discovering Daniel's betrayal to reject his apology. It was another twelve days, however, before she understood that her meaning in life exceeded all expectations to her family and friends. This epiphany came in the form of a referral to a prestigious internship at a publishing company in Los Angeles, a city that is arguably the exact opposite of Selden. The time it took for Kate to accept the position was incalculable, however, as she was packing the moment the letter touched her fingertips.

 

Leaving Selden had not been difficult for Kate, who had wasted no time before buying a one-way plane ticket to California. However, after the first week of her new job, in which she found her only responsibility to be the quality of the office coffee, she was seriously starting to wonder if her mother was right when she said Kate was making the biggest mistake of her life.  
 
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Thank you all again for taking time out of your busy day to read what I have to write. I hope you all know how special you all are to me!
 
And, I hope you entered my giveaway! It ends tomorrow night, so there's still time.
 
Much love {and appreciation},

10 comments:

Megan said...

lovely writing. well done.

Alisha said...

Very well written!! Sounds like a wonderful way to open a story. You have a very diverse character that jumped out of her comfort zone into something that is totally unfamiliar to her. Really good!

One thing I did have to re-read because it was a little hard to understand was the last sentence. Was her mom stating that to Kate or someone else? Did Kate overhear her? Is that a speaking sentence? If not, I would suggest "Kate" being changed to the pronoun "she". It may be a little verbose, but I think people will understand the "she said she was making..."

Other than that, great writing!

Joelle said...

Thanks so much for the suggestion! I'll definitely take a look and see if I can rework the language a bit.

Beka said...

when i realized you were giving us a sneak peek at an actual chapter, i got so excited!
....i like it alot:)

Joelle said...

Beka - Your comment just made me smile :) I'm glad you like it!

Skye said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Casey said...

From a grammatical standpoint, the last sentence is actually fine. If you were to change "Kate" to "she," that "she" would be referring back to the mom, which I don't think is your intention.

Additionally, the first sentence of the fifth paragraph isn't a complete sentence. If your intent is to say that the value of women is apparent, it should read more along the lines of "The value of women in this place, is, therefore, apparent." The word "therefore" needs to be followed with a comma at all times. And the "it was apparent" in the beginning doesn't correspond to the "value of women in this place," grammatically. It doesn't correspond to anything in the sentence, which I'd say is the issue! Haha.

Just wanted to throw in my grammatical two cents. :)

Lyndsay M said...

i love the story, it left me wanting more as soon as i finished reading!

Adrian said...

You're right, you don't write like most contemporary writers, but that's lovely! Good job darling, keep it up and keep us in the loop! Can't wait to see what Kate makes of her new life in L.A.!

Design It Chic said...

WOW this story sounds like such a good book I'd read! Thanks for sharing with us this sneak peak and I'm really looking forward to see it published already!!!:) Go Joelle! Go Joelle!
Oh and btw I just landed on your blog and I'm loving it! I am now following you thanks to Thirsty Thursday, and it would be so nice if you could share the love back on my blog;)
Also today we have the coolest blog hop there is... no rules just fun and would love you to join in with us at Boost My Blog Friday :) See you there! Happy Friday!