Beginning at an End

Camp NaNoWriMo 2013 – July Session

9222 words
Abandoned due to resit examinations.

General NaNo Plan

I had hoped to be able to lighten my load by writing a collection of short stories. I find it difficult to find 50,000 words to write in one story, so thought that if I shared it between a group of stories it would go easier.

It turned out to be more challenging than I expected.

Verity, Serenity, Elsie and Clare are four very different women, leading very different lives, and each will find themselves struggling through a “happy ending”.

Irish Proverb – All happy endings are beginnings as well…

What may be happy for one, is a nightmare for another. But it is what happens after the “happy” ending we are concerned with.

Verity had her world collapse around her when one man stole the greatest gift she had to give. Her happy ending was the fairytale rescue but nothing could repair the damage already done.

  • This story was to be told from the point of view of an outsider. I was seeing the grandfather in the Princess Bride speaking to his grandson, and imagining someone else telling this story to their grandchildren, a tale where there was hope beyond destruction.
  • It was to be set in the time of knights and dragons, where all a girl really had of value was her virtue and her family name.
  • Verity had been promised to a young lord who had no problems with taking what he wanted and leaving her with nothing. In rides the brave and handsome knight to save her, and their story begins where the knight takes the time to show Verity that she has more value than what her nurse used to tell her.

Serenity was married off to pay her father’s debts, where she found a loveless marriage and her soul mate in a man who she could do nothing but pine for.

  • Serenity’s story was set around 1915 when Britain was at war.
  • It was to be told as a series of diary entries, looking back on the days that mattered to the story line.
  • Serenity was married to her father’s biggest creditor in lieu of the money he owed. The husband wanted nothing more than a marriage in name only, so Serenity would spend the rest of her days childless and managing the household. She falls in love with her stepson, a soldier recently honourably discharged from the army through injury.
  • The would be the story of how Serenity found happiness despite the trappings of society and her marriage. She couldn’t be with the man she loved, and the man who loved her back, but she could be close to him. This was to be the story of how a person can find a type of happiness within the compromise.

Elsie was young and in love when her husband died. They’d been childhood sweethearts and together were planning the beginnings of their family when he was caught up in the events of 9/11. Nearly eight years on Elsie still consults her husbands memory when she needs him close.

  • This was to be told as a murder mystery, where Elsie, who now ran her own business, began to fall in love with someone else. It was to be the story of a woman moving on with her life, while still holding on to the love that she had found so many years before.
  • Elsie was to have had a makeshift family around her. All young women who’d come to work in the shop in their hour of need. Elsie had been like a mother to most of them, helping them back on their feet. It was one of the girls who’d been murdered and it was left to the man Elsie was to fall in love with to solve the case.
  • While the romance was very much the sub plot of this story, it still played an important part in making Elsie who she was. And her husband was just as important to her, as he was when he was alive.

Clare had her happy ending all planned out, the wedding, the house and the children. Yet the oddly handsome stranger sitting beside her in the railway carriage would be there to change all of that.

  • Clare thought she’d found the man of her dreams, and in the process was ready to begin the rest of her life with him. In the process of planning the wedding and getting to know her in laws, she discovered a lot of things she didn’t want to know. Especially that her soon to be husband was only marrying her for her connections to the criminal underworld. His family were small town, and wanted her connections to expand.
  • This would have been the story of how something little can change everything. The stranger Clare met on the train would turn out to be her exit route from the life she’d wanted to leave behind; while coming from a crime family, she’d hoped to escape, and her father had backed her in that ambition.
  • It was to be told from the point of view of the stranger, learning about Clare and the life she was running away from. And then moving from that to the life that they were creating together.
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