So, I’m going to be doing something… new, with this story.
I’m not writing a series of chapters that make up a larger story this time. I’m writing a novel. That’s different!
Namely, it’s different in my writing process. Specifically, because when I’m writing a novel, I don’t always finish everything in order.
As such, this isn’t going to be a totally cohesive story just yet. It’s going to take editing. I’ll be supplementing heavily with author notes, especially when I change continuity. Once the story is ‘done’, I will go back and edit heavily, possibly even redoing entire chapters or sequences.
It should be noted, that this is very much a Work In Progress. Feedback can and will be incorporated. Unlike other stories where I can only retcon things chapter by chapter, here I will be able to fix problems retroactively for the final version.
This is an experiment. I hope you all like it.
For this chapter in particular: Openings are hard, especially when there’s no immediate kink content to hang my hat on. I can’t just rely on, say, a sex scene or a fun diaper scenario to keep interest, and in this case I can’t even use an action scene or something high energy.
It’s difficult. I need to introduce the entire core cast and premise, almost purely through dialog. As such… This chapter is incomplete, and it’s probably going to be replaced, because I don’t know these characters yet. I’ve got a reasonably strong character for Grace and some good ideas for the rest, but I haven’t had a chance to live with them for the length of a novel. Their personalities, quirks, and details about who they are haven’t come to life yet, and so any attempt to introduce them is going to fall flat.
Take this for what it is. An incomplete introduction that’s mostly here to give me a springboard into the rest of the story, like scaffolding around a building that’ll eventually be removed once the structure can stand on its own.
Grace, as in elegance, surveyed the scene. “Oh, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
The kitchen was a wreck; the aftermath of four adults - she wasn’t counting herself - who couldn’t clean up after themselves if their lives depended on it.
She frowned. That wasn’t true. It was the result of three adults who could clean up after themselves (Badly!) and one adult who, she suspected, didn’t know how to wipe his own ass.
Sighing, she rolled up her sleeves, stepped up to the plate, and got to work.
Dishes were the first thing. She had to reorganize the washer to make sure everything would be efficient, but even then it was going to take two loads. Better to get started early.
Someone (It had to be him) had left the cast iron skillet soaking in the sink. She recovered it and dried it quickly, checking for rust.
“Morning, Grace.” Brains, as in smartass, strolled in, a backpack over his shoulder. Hopping over the dustpan on the floor, he navigated to the coffee pot, pouring a quarter of it into his portable thermos.
“Morning, Brains,” Grace replied. “Off to work?”
“Off to work,” he replied, snagging an apple from the basket of fruit on the kitchen table. Taking a bite, he jumped once again to clear the dustpan, waltzing out the back door.
While Grace was bagging up trash, Melody, as in music, found her way in. “I could have helped with that, you know.”
“I was awake, and it needed done,” Grace replied. “I don’t mind.”
“Well, thanks then. Have you eaten?”
Melody took that as the indication to start cooking, raiding the fridge for breakfast fixings. It wasn’t anything fancy, just bacon and eggs, but she cooked them up while Grace cleaned. They managed to move around each other in the kitchen without getting in each other’s ways, and before long, three plates of food were set out on the now-clean table.
Grace took a break to eat, pulling up a stool. She used ketchup, Melody doused her eggs in salsa.
“How are things going with Bill?” Grace asked, between bites.
“Oh, I ghosted him.” Melody talked right over a mouthful of food. “He wouldn’t shut up about his band.”
Melody’s chewing slowed, and she raised her eyebrows. “When’s the last time you saw someone?”
Grace shook her head, sticking out her middle finger and raising it over her heart. “Wasters Club,” she reminded Melody.
Melody returned the salute, and that was that. The subject was dropped. “Anyways, he was great in the sack, but we’d be done and like five seconds later he’d be talking about how I’d inspired him to write a song, and like- Fuck, dude. We’ve known each other for three days and they’ve only been pleasant when your mouth is shut.”
“Eventually you’ll run out of college guys to bang,” Grace pointed out.
Melody just shrugged. “They make new ones every year.”
Pushing up from the table, she glanced at her plate, then at Grace. Grace just nodded her head. “I’ll get it.”
“Thanks, G. Need anything from the store?”
“Dish soap,” Grace suggested. “Thanks.”
Melody left for work, and Grace alone, sweeping up the crud and dirt on the floor.
It wasn’t twenty minutes later that the door opened. Skip, as in playing hookie, was rubbing at their eyes and yawning. “Morning, G.”
Grace glanced up from what she was doing. “Evening, Skip. You’re home late.”
Skip shrugged. “Twelve hours. We’re in the busy season right now.”
“More than busy,” Grace said. “Gonna sleep?”
“In a bit.” Skip strolled through, drinking the rest of the slightly-cooled coffee straight from the pot. “Got some personal work to take care of, first.”
Grace shook her head. “Don’t kill yourself.”
“Can’t. Too busy,” Skip pointed out, wandering out of the kitchen.
Everything, save for the still running dishwasher, was largely cleaned up at this point. Counters wiped down, stove washed, she was done for the morning. Someone would likely trash the place come lunchtime, but that was a problem for later.
She had work to do, so she went to go get her laptop.
I stopped writing here, because I realized that this ‘breakfast around the kitchen table’ situation just wasn’t working for me. It’s slow, and we don’t get to see the characters interact as a group. This is basically what I do when I’m stuck, I leave a note for myself explaining what needs to bridge this to the next chapter, then I come back and redo it once I’m more confident that I can solve the problem. So, with that in mind, here’s the note I left for myself:
Grace continues to go throughout her day. She gets some work done, and eventually we’re eventually going to meet Randy, and get a bit of backstory for the Wasters Club - Namely, a group of friends from highschool, who met through detention and stuck together after graduating, got a house to share, and are unified by a ‘fuck the world’ attitude. End with a segue into a late evening fire in the backyard.
I will try and avoid using these notes when I can, especially since I’ll be posting these chapters publicly, but I can’t promise that they won’t come up again.
As I said above, feedback is enormously appreciated!
Anyways, that’s ‘Chapter 1’, sort of!
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