Novel Development/Excerpt

Hey, everyone! I’ve been working on my first novel for about two-and-a-half-years now. Harvest follows Kathryn Blake, a young witch (18 yrs. old) in the fictional small town of Bruxton, New York –just outside the Adirondack mountain range– on the day witch hunters arrive in town under the guise of traveling carnival workers. Readers soon find out they’re not only after Kathryn but someone who defected from them years ago.

My personal challenge is how to make this story as realistic as possible. How would people with special abilities interact in our everyday world? What are the limitations of magic and those who possess it? How empowering can a story be if we remove the crutch of a romantic interest for the protagonist? Things like that.

My goal between now and Christmas is to crank out a full first draft of this thing as a gift to myself to finally have a draft I can share with prospective first readers. I’ve been in rewrite/exploration mode for the past year. During this time, I’ve made extensive character discoveries, plot developments, and a complete change in point-0f-view from a close third-person to first-person P.O.V.

Thank you all for your support and I look forward to this journey together. Below is a brief excerpt from an early scene in the book. Kathryn, Gwen (Best Friend), Trent (Older Brother), and Scott (Classmate/Friend) are pulled off to the side of a rural road while Scott gets sick after a Halloween party.

Excerpt:

Scott heaved into flood trench beside the road. The full moon cast an eerie blue light over the hacked, dried cornfield ahead of us. A black tree line capped the hill near the corn maze’s dusty stalks. Gwen rubbed his back as his stomach purged alcohol. The smell was strong and acidic.

Trent sat in the driver’s seat, biting his thumb under the cab lights. The dashboard beeped in a droning cadence. He flipped the ignition off, silencing it. I sat on the passenger seat; my legs dangled from the open door. I watched the tree line.

I picked up my phone from the cup holder. Its lock screen had missed calls and unread texts – all from Mom and Dad.

“Mom and Dad are pissed.”

Trent shifted in his seat.

“Any surprise?”

I swiped my screen to reveal the extent of their anger. My eyes scanned their texts

1:37 a.m.  CALL US
1:30 a.m.  Are you safe?
1:15 a.m.  Where are you?
1:06 a.m. Cain escaped! Call us!

Missed calls: Mom (11)
                         Dad (10)

“Kathryn.”

Trent grabbed my shoulder. At the hill’s peak, a towering beast stood before the forest, emerging from the corn maze.

“Cain,” I whispered.

Scott wretched again. Stomach contents doused the nearby weeds. I leaned out the truck.

“Gwen.”

“What?” she asked, looking back at me. She followed our locked gaze to Cain standing upright. “Oh God.”

His monstrous form rose above the corn stalks by a good four feet. Cain howled a thunderous roar that drowned out the grasshoppers and owls.

“Get in the truck!” Trent yelled.

His hand cranked the keys and the engine revved to life. Gwen dragged Scott to the open door as Cain bounded toward us. We had seconds.

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