Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Coast - Prologue Rewrite

Wow can we say this story is going to be a huge pain in my rear? I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to figure out where to go from where I already am.

Normally, when I get stuck it's either because the last chapter was a pile of funky garbage, or the current chapter is wrong. I thought it was the current chapter since that's the one I'm having the most trouble with, but after looking back over the prologue I realized that the concept is there, but the words were left too many questions...why is the main character sad, what happened in the past, where was she, who's the man with the brown eyes, and what's the deal with her husband?

So I went back and re-wrote it...well first I answered those questions...who is this woman whose story I'm telling, why should anyone care, who is the man with the brown eyes, how did she meet him, where did she meet him. That was the biggest issue. Why was she in the little seaside town on the coast of somewhere beautiful.

At first she ran away the night before her wedding. Yeah, it could have worked....heck it still might, but no. Then it was because her best friend was in a car accident and died. Then I remembered, been there, done that, so no.

Then it hit me...a vacation of some sort, but not with her family..maybe with the friend who I wanted to kill...ooh yeah, good idea...what kind of vacation? Not summer (too much like The Notebook), but still warm weather...ooh...I got it, spring break.

hello wheels, yes, please keep turning.

Connie, the main character, and her best friend Hannah, go to Seaside, Oregon for spring break. They are both twenty years old, both in college. Hannah is single, Connie is dating a man who at this moment does not have a name. She's thinking about breaking up with Mr. Nameless, but hasn't done it yet.

While in Seaside she meets Brett. Brett works in Seaside...somewhere...that's yet to be revealed by Brett...Connie meets him shortly after she and Hannah arrive in Seaside. They bond...somehow, and become sort of confidants while she is there...the attraction is unmistakable...but it barely gets physical...perhaps just a kiss...

Then Mr. Nameless comes down to surprise Connie...perhaps he proposes...perhaps she says yes and leaves Seaside with him...or perhaps she says no and stays in Seaside with Brett...I don't know's still a

So is the newly rewritten prologue...hopefully it's better than the first.


My mother was a firm believer that everything that happened, happened for a reason. I think she only believed this because she read a Marilyn Monroe interview where Marilyn was quoted to have said, “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." I remember my mom tearing that article from the magazine then trimming it so it was nice and pretty then she proceeded to tape it to the center of the refrigerator.

It never made sense to me. I never understood how a person could change so easily and let go of the ones they loved, and I never understood how someone could believe a lie, and I sure as hell never believed that good things fell apart and if they did, it wasn’t so better things could come together.

Until it happened to me.

I went to Seaside that fateful spring break instead of going camping with my family and that’s why I was exactly where I was right now, back in the place where it all started, staring into the chocolate brown eyes of the one person I’d hurt the most in my entire life.

I never thought I’d see him again and I sure didn’t expect him to still be here in Seaside after all these years, yet there he stood, staring at me like a man seeing the sun for the first time.

I turned away, turning my back on him again, choosing to look down at my two whining children. I glanced down at their pink sun tinged skin and sleepy expressions. Focus, I ordered myself, focus on the kids, focus on the present, not the past. This is your life now, not him.

I couldn’t stop the tears that pricked my eyes, stinging them, obscuring my vision. Images of the past; shimmering memories of our time together, all leading up to the rainy Sunday morning I left without so much as a goodbye.

Even now, ten years later, it never failed to surprise me how different my life had been then, for those two short weeks, I was someone else, someone I didn’t recognize anymore, someone I wasn’t and would never be again. I was a girl, free from responsibility, free from a marriage to a man that most days I couldn’t say I liked, let alone loved.

I risked a glance over my shoulder. He was still staring at me, silent tears begging me to come back to him, to come back to the life we could have had here in this tiny seaside town on the coast of somewhere beautiful.

“I’m sorry,” I mouthed at him and turned away again feeling my heart break, tiny slivers shattering in my chest, spiraling down into the depths of the darkest part of my soul.

I took a deep breath and looked down at my children and, with a voice full of false cheer, said, “Who wants an ice cream cone?”

Maggie and Grace looked up, both nodding eagerly. “I want a chocolate one,” Maggie said, her tears instantly drying. “And I want a banilla one,” replied Grace.

“Come on then,” I said taking their hands. “Ice cream it is.”

As much as I wanted to, I didn’t look back. With the girls’ hands enveloped in mine, and my husband by my side, I walked away from the greatest love I’d even known.

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