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Sample Sunday – Half Truth and Full Lye Excerpt #3 November 27, 2011

Posted by shannonmuir in fiction, NaNoWriMo, novels, outline, plot, Sample, Smashwords, work in progress, Writing.
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I finished my complete first draft of HALF TRUTH AND FULL LYE just a couple days before Thanksgiving as part of NaNoWriMo as many call it (the full name is National Novel Writing Month). My original outline went like this, and was very high level to begin with:

Truth has always known she was different. Born to a single mother who is the town tarot card and palm reader (spiritual medium), she longs to fit in and be taken seriously. Truth has fought her mother constantly and is a very devout Christian.

Now someone claiming to be her father arrives in to town on her 18th birthday, doing outrageous things. Some claim he’s a devil. Others claim them gifts from God. Still others just say cheap parlour charletain.

For Truth, it’s just a matter of finding out who she really is. Not to mention there’s the matter of his equally charming young assistant, known only as Lye…

Chapters should be about 3334 (d days at 1667 each). 15 chapters.

C1: The past. Goes to Mom for advice which takes the form of a reading which scares Mom. Sees something she won’t communicate though Truth reads her emotions.

C2: The setup chapter in present. Truth’s life at church and home to the mom. Not fitting in either world. News of someone coming to town on tour three nights, now a Big Name, hasn’t passed through in years. Town nerd Byron, all about science, debunks it but hits on Truth who is pretty, where they both work at the local coffee shop. Truth senses something wrong and heads back home, high tuned to emotion. Chapter ends with Truth’s mother terrified by her own divine reading (no need to show only communicate emotion). He is coming!

C3: He arrives with Lye. Three days only. Many want to see the legend, church speaks out against him. Truth and Byron talk science and magic. Truth’s mother won’t pay to let her go to the performance. Her emotional sense says she must. At church they talk about spiritual gifts. In town, Truth bumps into Lye. Apologies for collision. Lye introduces himself. Truth can’t read Lye. Truth mentions to Lye she can’t see the show. He gives her comp passes.

C4: Now she’ll have to lie to Mom and sneak out. Her cover involves work, but she’ll have to get Byron’s help for a cover. Taking advantage of a crush.

C5: The performance. Dad seems to have clairvoyance and other ESP. Truth is enthralled, but is it with her Dad or Lye? Tries to come backstage and when Lye tries an intro the Dad pushes her away before anyone can explain. Truth feels rejected. Lye tries to encourage Truth to return the next night. Truth says she doesn’t know if she can sneak away again. He entrances her.

C6: Truth and Byron discuss scientific explanations of psi gifts. Bible study about not trusting soothsayers, etc, and about true spiritual gifts. Truth wonders if she has SG but is too afraid to ask. The next day, trying to figure out how to sneak away. Can’t stop thinking of Lye all day and also why she couldn’t “read” his intentions. Wonders if Byron might have thoughts but that might tip her hand. Listening in the coffee shop to the varied opinions people had of the show. Decides maybe she shouldn’t go back.

C7: Next day, Lye and the man come there to eat. Lye wonders where she was. Lye tries to introduce again, this time more registers as the man is not distracted by the performance. This time he remembers or seems to and tells charming stories about meeting her mother. When he learns about her gift he offers a chance to travel. At the end Truth decides to quit her job and join the traveling show as a way to use her gifts. Mom is furious.

C8: Truth’s first show at home that night. The town uses this as a public ridicule session. She’s happy to blow this town.

C9: Packing up to go that morning. Cold goodbye to Mom. Surprisingly deeper one with Byron. Really deep one with Bible Study head that surprises her, reading emotions not expected.

C10: On the road. Attraction and mystery of Lye. Dad is driving. The discomfort of sharing a trailer with two men. Let’s get physical. (Does it go all the way?) Driven by physical lust but no emotional read, she thinks that’s reason.

C11: First show from home next city. She’s never left town. Truth insecure. Lye seems unfazed by anything almost numb. Her Dad brushes her off. Truth decides she’s made a mistake. But who can help? She calls Byron. They have two more shows there 50 miles away but the next is 200 miles from home. Byron will need a plan fast.

C12: Day two, comes to learn why Lye is so numb as the main man always puts him down. Now he’s even saying Truth makes Lye worse than he was. Finds out how he and Lye met. Determined to save Lye if someone comes for her.

C13: Day three, last performance. Looking like she’s stuck. In crowd she sees Byron.

C14: Byron shows up with her group bible study from the church to rescue. Rescued. Why the bible study leader? He’s Truth’s real father, in a time when he rebelled. Mother lied to protect everyone when he went back to what she saw as the bad side.

C15: Truth finding her way. Decide between Lye and Byron.

Well, there aren’t exactly spoilers here because the entire thing went “off outline”. It started with me, as I actually started writing, thinking that when she met Lye getting the whole “comp passes” thing here was too easy. Bryon became in that outline too much of a foil to simply explain things with science, and not a terribly endearing character.  Note that Myanna, her friend you met in the first excerpt, is not in the notes. Neither is Edana the Extraordinary, who showed up in the prior excerpt.

So much for plain and simple.

This was the first year I ever tried some form of outline for NaNoWriMo. In the end, it didn’t work terribly well. Perhaps if I’d honed it for several months versus weeks… I’m not sure.

Here is a sample of a piece created totally “off outline” from Chapter Six. If you want to see the full first draft (not polished) product, which is still marked as a work in progress because I need to go through and make absolutely sure it’s not got errors, you can get a copy for free at Smashwords in multiple formats.

“What is going on?” Lye asked, completely confused by everything. Truth cringed internally upon seeing him. When she saw him the first time, it never crossed her mind she might have been talking to her brother.

“This young lady is saying some terrible things about your father, but don’t listen to her,” Edana said. “They have no basis in fact.”

“I didn’t know that when we met this morning,” Truth explained to Lye. “I wanted to meet Branduff Donagh – your father – to talk to him. But not like this. I wanted to do it backstage, in private, until all that information came up on stage. The idea of my mother raising any child when she didn’t know how to show me love, it just made me so angry. I’m so sorry.”

Lye still looked dazed, like he didn’t know what to think. Truth really felt for the guy. She still tried to process the idea of the red headed young man as her brother.

“What did you say your name was again?” Branduff asked her.

“Darling, don’t even entertain this nonsense! Just throw her out!”

 Edana insisted.

“I never said I was, Edana,” Branduff Donagh shot back, the first time he seemed to not do what his wife asked of him publicly. This intrigued Truth as it didn’t match the angry, passionate younger man of her visions. “Maybe we can help her. If we opened the records of the students that I worked with when I was here then maybe there’s a clue there.”

“Ridiculous,” Edana told him. “I do not see how that will help whatsoever.”

“Lye and this girl are approximately the same age. Her parents may have met here. But I need to know her mother’s name.”

Truth decided to go along with Branduff instead of fighting things further, but still had one major hurdle. She didn’t know her mother’s name.

“You will find this hard to believe, but I do not know my mother’s name. She never taught it to me, and her clients always called her titles, like that Lady of the Spirits one you heard but that’s new to me.   I know my name is Gaelic in origin, and my mother’s family is.”

“Due to our own background, this Company naturally attracts many of Gaelic, Celtic and Irish backgrounds,” Edana said coldly. She wanted the whole matter done with quickly, it appeared. “Not all of our people fit that description, but most do. This could be such a waste of our time.”

“Edana, please let me open the records for the girl. I assure you, I am not her father. But everyone does deserve to know information about their family,” he said, with a heavy voice that Truth tried to get a handle on. The tone carried a heavy weight, as if Branduff felt regret and remorse for something. She briefly thought of the scene that flashed through her mind during the performance. Truth remembered the young man Branduff grabbed off of Edana, that she clearly felt emotions toward, and what he’d done to him. From everything being said, and Truth’s senses about that vision, Lye didn’t know the truth about his own parentage. Truth began to wonder if Branduff inadvertently killed that man and covered it up somehow.

The town, years ago, didn’t like Branduff and his ilk hanging around. What they did not forgive him for, however, was the word of the reported suicide of Charlie Lannard less than a year later. Since he’d drowned and his body not recovered, his family didn’t even have anything to bury. Even though Mrs. Lannard never could say it expressly, Truth knew it from town gossip. Perhaps the man of her visions, Lye’s biological father, could be Charlie Lannard. She decided to put that theory to the test.

“I can tell you she would have been with you the same year as Charlie Lannard joined,” she said, trying to seeing what emotions it might bring to the surface. “That might help narrow it down somewhat, even without her name.”

It worked. Edana’s face went white as a sheet as the blood drained away. If not for the seriousness of the situation, given her attire it would have been funny.

“I thought so,” Branduff said, looking over nervously. “Come backstage with us and I’ll get the records from our traveling van. I will try to get you those answers, if they are mine to give.”

Copyright 2011 Shannon Muir. All rights reserved. Please feel free to link to this blog post but do not repost without permission.



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