Scene and Sequel continued
Hello writers and readers. Thanks for stopping by Soul Mate Publishing blog today. Together, we have discussed many elements of writing a book, writing forward, scene setting, creating worlds among other topics.
I’d like to add more information to the scene and sequel post I submitted on an earlier date. A scene/external—action is always necessary and moves the story forward. There must always be a sequel/internal—reaction is necessary to supply the deliverance of an emotional impact desired by the reader. Some want to escape reality for a brief moment, others want fulfilment, while other live through the pages with the characters. The author must supply satisfaction. We all strive to achieve such a lofty goal. Salute to writers—and readers everywhere!
In the past, I read my work from start to finish checking on the scene, sequel aspect of the manuscript. I have a project in hand in which I failed to do so. This story may never go forward or be completed, but the mistake will point out my meaning.
This certainly wasn’t the proper time to explore. Elizabeth sighed with a measure of relief. Dusk slowly invaded the trees and hovered above the lane. Another day would be much better for the search. An owl swooped over the path with wings spread wide, and a mournful hoot reminding her she should move along.
Before she’d taken more than a few steps, she heard a low rumbling growl. Hoping to climb out of harm’s way, she ducked behind a tree with low hanging limbs and peered around to locate the source of the noise. She spotted a huge, gray wolf staggering down the rutted track from the Clarke place. The animal’s mouth dripped white foam, and his fierce yellow gaze was fixed ahead, a terrifying sight. With the frenzy of her pulse raging in her ears, she couldn’t move for a single heartbeat.
A rabid wolf! The hairs on the back of her neck stood up. Not daring to move and draw the wolf’s attention, she very slowly drew her pistol from her satchel and took aim, her fingers trembling. Before she managed to shoot, the beast fell to the ground kicking with convulsions, thrashing, and snapping its jaws all the while emitting a strange howl. The animal lurched to its feet and lunged forward.
She gulped in harsh mouthfuls of air and attempted to fire. Her hand trembled so badly she had to lower her weapon for a moment. Drawing in another deep breath, she tried to steady her gun again. She made two more attempts to control her hand before squeezing the trigger. Noise exploded from her gun, the beast yelped once then collapsed. Although stifled with the smell of gunpowder, she kept her gaze locked on the thrashing animal, alert, watching. Finally, the wolf succumbed and lay still.
I stopped here and jumped to her arrival at the boarding house in the town. Big mistake. There was no sequel/reaction. No physical reaction or internal reaction either.
Sequel: reaction/both external and internal
A moment later, she crumpled against the rough bark of the tree to keep from falling. She trembled all over, her legs barely able to support her, and her hand still vibrating with the recoil from the gun. While she fought to recover, the light faded into the grayness of twilight. Finally, she regained enough composure to step out and rush towards Bittersweep.
The woods came alive with sounds, the chirping of crickets, the wind rustling leaves, and the scurrying of small creatures. At least, she hoped the noise came from rabbits and other harmless critters furtively scrambling through the underbrush. She broke into a run until moisture dripped off her forehead into her eyes. Slowing her pace, she spied winking lights ahead. Nearly back at the boardinghouse, she drew a deep breath of relief.
She couldn’t wait to get inside to safety, to four walls between her and nature. Finally making it to the porch, she rushed forward and burst inside. Shutting the door, she gripped the brass knob with both hands behind her. She leaned against the wooden panel for a brief moment waiting for her breath to slow.
Betty entered the hallway. “What happened? Your hair’s all blown about and you’re breathing like a bellows.”
Elizabeth shook her head, still leaning against the doorframe. “I shot a rabid wolf.”
“A wolf? You better come on in and tell my mom about your upset. She’ll want to hear all about it.”
Elizabeth pushed away from the door making the glass pane rattle. “I’m going to my room. I’ll be down in a second.”
She collapsed on her bed, taking several deep breaths until her pulse steadied. Thoughts of JP able and willing to face a challenge for the children gave her ease. If only she could contact him tonight instead of tomorrow, she would sleep much better. She heaved a big sigh, changed her dusty boots for a pair of slippers, and headed downstairs to face Mrs. Ledbetter’s curiosity.
Start of another scene/action– sequel/reaction.
After explaining everything at least twice, Elizabeth allowed the landlady to shove another cup of dandelion tea at her. By Mrs. Ledbetter’s reckoning, the tea would help her sleep, steading her nerves after such an ordeal. Elizabeth ate her supper and headed off to bed. When she passed the front door on the way to her room, a horse snorted outside of the house. She peered out the window in the door. A bridle jingled and a saddle squeaked under the weight of someone dismounting. A dim shape, wrapped in darkness, formed and strode across the porch. JP knocked on the doorframe, tall and powerful exuding the essence of strength even in his stillness.
The need to straighten her hair and scan her reflection in the glass tugged at her. Being in his presence always had this unsettling effect on her, one she couldn’t explain. Brushing the urge away, she took a deep breath and opened the door. “Ah, Mr. Honeycutt. You are the very person I wanted to see.”
Again, thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found the offering of interest. The genre is different from my usual offerings because of my love of the Regency. This is my attempt at a historical western. I don’t know how far I will take the story, or whether I have the right voice for the period. We’ll see.
For more information about my writing, visit my website: www.wareezewoodson.com
With High Regards,