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As I said in an earlier post, I’ve already finished my first full-scale novel. I’ve rewritten it a couple of times, but it is still nowhere near the standard that I would want it to be. And as I also said in that very same post: I’ve since decided to focus my attention on my second novel. I felt as though my writing needed to be allowed more freedom. It needed to roam new genres and unexplored pages, it needed to soar high into the skies of stories not yet told. It needed to expand its horizons in order to develop. And what better way to find this development than in a new, fresh untold story? A new beginning, that is what I see my second novel as: a chance to develop my writing.

Not long ago I read a great piece in an online article. The article was based on great writing – how to achieve it, master it; wield its powers. And the author of the article suggested that in order to write a good book, a writer must first write and complete a bad one. And it really stuck with me. The bad book helps the writer to believe that they can actually finish a novel length piece of writing, which, when thinking about, can actually be quite terrifying!

So based on this, I class my first novel – Subsiding Happiness – as my bad book and my second – as yet untitled – my (hopefully) good book. And since you’ve seen the opening chapter of my first, I thought that I should share with you the opening chapter of my second. And you can read it below:

Chapter 1

The intruder could taste the darkness as he moved through the house. The cool breeze blew through the window which he had used to gain access to the building. The air was ice-cold. He moved with purpose through the corridor searching for his man. He wasn’t even sure if he was there but he had to take the chance. Silence. Then a noise. The sound of creaking floorboards came from directly above his head. He froze, listening intently. One of the inhabitants was out of their bed, their peaceful slumber had been interrupted. They walked around on the floor above him.

The intruder kept moving, paying close attention to the sounds, pinpointing the exact whereabouts of the footsteps. He knew that it was his man, he had to act now. His movements became faster, he could practically smell his soon-to-be victim he was that close. He had found the bottom of the stairs. At the top there was a small window, the moonlight breached the glass creating a patch of light just at the top of the stairs. The footsteps up there had now stopped. There was a silhouette at the top of the staircase. The intruder could see his victim but the victim was unaware of his presence. One step. Creek. Another step. Creek. The person continued down the stairs gathering speed and courage simultaneously, the pistol extended at an arm’s length out in front of them.

With a sudden flash luminosity engulfed the room. She had flicked on the lights so that she could analyse her surroundings. Investigating. Hoping that her ears were deceiving her. The woman peered around the corner, right where the intruder was hiding. Nothing… Whack. The man struck the helpless woman across the back of the head with a tire iron. She fell onto a glass cabinet face first, smashing through it. She screamed in terror. Her gun fell to the floor. A shard of glass had imbedded itself into her stomach. The man stomped on her face shattering her jaw and cheek bones, silencing her screams. He pulled the shard of glass out of her stomach. Blood gushed out of the large open wound. She cried in pain, her screams were muffled.

The killer was unstoppable, he delivered blow after blow, laying into the sides of her head and her face with the tire iron and his huge boot. The face of the woman was now completely mashed. She had been reduced to a mangled pile of blood and bones. The walls and floor were covered in red. The man didn’t relent, he continued to stomp on her face until she had stopped squirming. She was still. She was dead.

He eventually stopped. He observed the scene. “Shit.” He said aloud, “Where is he?” He had realised that his man wasn’t home, he would have come out now after hearing the commotion. The killer knew that he had to go. He grabbed his bag from the floor and ran for the door. He opened it and sprinted off into the night.

The young boy who had watched the events unfold from the top of the stairs ran into the nearby closet and locked himself inside, hiding from the crazed murderer. The house was still once more and even though the room was now light, the events which had unfolded on that night made it seem darker than space itself.

I think with this book, I find that I am enjoying myself a hell-of-a-lot-more. Crime fiction and crime thrillers are both genres which I really enjoy reading. Which made writing in them really enjoyable. I think that I should end this post with a little writing advice based on what I’ve written, so, here it is: if you aren’t enjoying what you’re writing, how do you expect a reader to? Write from your own heart and people will feel that in your work. Write for a market and your work will never reach one.