Saturday, March 2, 2013


I belong to a writing critique group. We call ourselves the McWriters because we meet every two weeks at, of course, McDonalds.

We (Judy, Marcia, Marjorie, Teri and I) are each other's cheerleaders, nudgers, and writing improvers. We've also become good friends, sharing a ton of laughs and even a few tears.

When I joined the group three years ago, I hesitated to share my work. I felt as though I was standing naked in front of strangers. That was a very uncomfortable place to be.

But sharing my work was one of the best things I've done. I can't imagine writing solo. Partly because I'm a social person who craves connections and conversation. But also because my writing, my stories, have improved immensely. The feedback and guidance I've gotten from the other McWriters has been, and continues to be, invaluable.

So, I've decided to step outside my comfort zone on a bigger scale and share a small sample--the first two pages of my young adult novel, Brave--with you, my blog readers. I'm currently approaching page 100 on my third re-write.

The story is about teenager, Corey Johnson, who is thrust into the middle of the horrifying Native American legend that has plagued his small New England town for centuries.
Hope you enjoy...
By Jeanne M. Curtin
 Chapter One – The Ogre

            Black spray paint hissed onto the warped wooden door. Thick lines formed a pair of eyes, a bulbous nose, a snarling mouth and big ears. Rattle, rattle. Psssh. Corey connected a torso and muscular arms–one wielding a club. He knelt down on the cracked pavement to create thick legs and two large, hairy feet. Done.
            He stood and took a few steps backward to check his artwork. His eyes wandered from the ogre’s feet up to the tip of its raised club. Not bad. Not bad at all. His gaze climbed past the garage roof to where Micimek Mountain rose. Moonlight, a slight breeze, and the tall pines worked together to create eerie shadows. Corey felt uneasy, almost as if someone or something was watching him. His eyes darted from one fluttering leaf to the next.
            “Hold it right there!” boomed a man’s voice from behind him.
            Corey’s heart skipped a beat. The spray can fell from his grasp, clanged onto the driveway and rolled to the grass.
            “Now sit down,” the gravelly voice said. “And then turn around so I can see your face.”
            Corey followed the instructions and peered up. The first thing he spotted was the wooden bat held diagonally across the man’s body. Then he saw the dark, menacing eyes. Corey’s gut tightened. Run! He slid his knee up and placed his hands on the ground for leverage.
            “Don’t even think about it,” said the gruff voice. The man took a step closer.
            “Hey, look, sir,” Corey said, “I’m really sorry. It was just a joke.”
            “Then why aren’t I laughing?”
            Just then flashing blue lights rounded the corner and a police car pulled up the driveway. Corey’s stomach sank. I am so dead.

copyright (c) Jeanne M. Curtin

#YA #Book #Novel #Writer


Anonymous said...

That's not fair! You can't leave it like that! I want to know what happens!

I think you are the brave one, putting something out like this, and I can't wait until it's finished (or until you post another page or to?!?!?). I really enjoyed it, and in just those few sentences, was already wanting to know about Corey and what was going to happen to him.

Never stop writing - you're born for it.

Susan Brown :)

Michelle Libby/JIllian Hallowell said...

Great start. I know the feeling of being naked in front of everyone. Don't worry. Now stop re-writing and get the story submitted. :)


Cheryl Paluso said...

More, more, more ...
I love it!!! I want more ...
You amaze me.

VickieG said...

Good, very good. You captured my attention quickly, first page, and I want to read more.

jeanne curtin said...

You guys are very sweet <3
And motivating. Now I'll work harder and faster to get to "The end"... again!
hugs and thanks~

Dede Perkins said...

LOVE your opening, Jeanne. Keep it coming!

Chris said...

I am so dead. :/