Sunday, March 15, 2015


#NovelSnip is a tiny portion of my fiction writing project. This week I had an idea of how I might proceed plot-wise, so I started writing scenes that humanize Frank a bit.  Frank isn't an all-bad guy, but rather, a mostly terrible parent and very poor communicator.  I also wrote a scene with Alice all grown up.  I'm writing a bit faster, so I feel like it might be less polished.  But oh well because #NovelSnip isn't about perfection; it's about process.

Frank sighed as he slammed the door of the BMW and drove out of the firm’s parking lot.  On Thursdays, he left early so Evelyn could teach her night class, and without fail, this proved a terrible inconvenience. 
Just before he had moved to stand up, David Keely, the managing partner had stopped into Frank’s office to strategize a new case.  Sweat had pricked Frank’s brow as David droned for several minutes. Frank furtively eyed the digital clock on his bookshelf, which stood next to the photo of Alice in a pink onesie. Finally, Frank had to admit that he was “just leaving” to relieve the nanny, and made a show of piling several thick manila files into his briefcase.

“We’ll do this tomorrow,” David said, gruffly, while Frank kept his head down.

“Yes,” he said, frowning, “I’ll be ready.”

Now, driving home to the classical music station, he felt irritated, his stomach slightly upset. Frank grabbed a cylinder of Rolaids from the ash tray, broke two off with his thumb nail, and popped them into his mouth.  He brushed the chalky bits from his lip and sped down the freeway.
You can stop here for #NovelSnip or click through for the whole scene.  It's one of those weeks!

When he slipped in the back door, exactly on time at 5:15, Marie, the fluent-in-French nanny who watched Alice twice per week was sitting with her on the couch, cooing at her as she took her bottle.
“Thanks,” said Frank to Marie, as he dropped his briefcase and suit coat next to the door.

“You’re welcome,” Marie said, smiling at Alice.  “She had a wonderful afternoon,” she continued, talking to Alice in the high sweet voice that she used with her when they were alone.  “We bounced, we read, we took a -” 

“Thanks,” Frank said, again, cutting her off and holding his arms out for Alice.  “We’ll see you next week.”
“Oh,” said Marie, taken aback.  “Yes.”  She stood with Alice and handed the baby off to Frank without taking the bottle from her mouth.  Marie gathered her things while Frank watched, following her from the family room to the kitchen and then into the front hall.

“Goodbye,” she said, smiling at Alice in Frank’s arms.  “See you on Tuesday.”

“Yes,” said Frank impatiently from the foot of the stairs.  “See you then.”  As soon as the door was finally closed behind Marie, Frank turned with Alice and hurried up toward the bedroom he shared with Evelyn, eager to get out of his trousers, his belt digging uncomfortably into his belly.  His work shirt, too, stifled him, damp from the encounter with Dan Keely and the rushed ride home.

He gently laid Alice on the bed, wresting the bottle from her mouth and placing it on the nightstand.  Alice whimpered in protest.

“Just a short break,” he whispered, smiling at her. He yanked his shirt from his waistband and hurriedly undid the buttons.  The baby knit her eyebrows and worked her tiny mouth, formula collecting in the corners.  “It’ll just be a tiny min-ute,” Frank sang to her, racing out of his work pants and digging in his drawer for khaki shorts with a more forgiving waistband.  Alice wriggled and grunted, as Frank stepped into the bermudas.  “I’m hurry-ing,” Frank sang, comically, whipping a cotton t-shirt over his head and lifting Alice from the bedspread in one movement.  “Ah,” he told her, recovering the bottle and touching the nipple to her bottom lip, “that’s so much better.”


mm said...

I can't imagine anyone would stop.

Anonymous said...

Find this approach to Frank very engaging. Mom

LH said...

I like how you write a bit about your process and goals with #novelsnip. This whole project fascinates me.