In case you keep up with me on the social media, you already know this, but on Monday, I officially started writing—like, writing writing. I finished my outline over the weekend, and I’m pleased with the story (of course, if I wasn’t pleased, I would have redrafted the outline). Sunday night, I sat down to brainstorm some more, to see if there was anything else I wanted to add to the outline, and while writing paragraphs about the main character’s initial situation in the story, I started getting snippets of dialogue and action, and so the beginning was born. I wasn’t even sure if it was a proper beginning, since it was mostly brainstorming, so I labeled the document ‘beginning maybe’. When I pulled the document up on Monday, I played with what I had written the night before and cut the brainstorming paragraphs before the first bit of dialogue and then wrote a new opening and viola! I cleaned up the dialogue and then kept going. I wrote 2000 words Monday, another 2000 Tuesday, and 1700 yesterday (I probably would have written a lot more yesterday, but I was having issues with Spotify, and of course, there were July 4th celebrations), bringing my total word count up to 5700.
Shadiya threw her patterned blanket from her body and sat up in bed, too preoccupied to sleep. Her father lay in his own bed, his arm hanging over the side of the goatskin mattress with his knuckles on the carpet. A breeze drifted through the shutters, the sight of stars and moon just beyond the floral-shaped gaps in the weathered wood.
Shadiya stood, the creak of the bed frame disturbing her father’s sleep. He snorted and smacked his lips sleepily and murmured something about their herbs stock before descending again into a gentle rumble of snores. She tiptoed to the window and pushed the rightmost shutter open. The warm breeze mussed her dark brown curls and rustled the beaded hangings on the walls behind her.
Resting her elbows on the window sill, she stared out into the night. Dark blues and grays and blackest black colored the houses in the village, the people of Faramosh blissfully asleep in the night’s shadow, dreaming of mundane things and never imagining that there might be something more than this humble, isolated life. She looked to a window just three houses down. Only Khalil ever spared a thought of something different, something new, something never done before, but he was only Khalil, a goat herder’s son destined to herd goats. With a sigh, she pushed a tangle of hair behind her ear. And because of tradition and laws and expectations, she would soon live in that house, with Khalil and his mother and father and two sisters, living a life she had always considered dull and plain, herding goats and raising little goat herders to take her place when she grew too old to do even that menial task.
Somewhere toward the desert, a hyena howled, and two others quickly echoed their brother’s call. Shadiya shuddered and yanked the shutter closed with a bang, startling her father awake. Leaving the window, she bunched her hair together behind her head and pulled it over her left shoulder.
“We need to talk,” she said.