Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Shattered Wall, Chapter One

Here is the first part of a story I wrote last month. It started as a NaNoWriMo project, but I was so busy last month that I cut it down to 10,000 words. It's not, honestly, among my best work, but it was really fun to write anyway. It stands completely unedited, so there may be continuity and grammar errors within. Enjoy.

When he regained consciousness, James felt a terrible sense of foreboding. He was in his bedroom in his apartment, but he did not remember anything from the night before. He had no clear memory of anything since he left work the previous day.

“Wait, what?” James asked nobody in particular.

My apologies. I am the Writer. He- James- was my own fictional construct. He was to be the protagonist in a story of my devising.

James did not look happy with this news. “So, are you saying that you have complete control over everything that is going to happen to me?”


“Don’t I have free will, or something?” he asked.

To a point, yes. But I direct the plot- in other words, the entire world around you. I know this may seem somewhat distressing, but he should be able to live with it. It will only last for a few thousand words.*

James looked thoughtful for a few minutes before finally resigning himself to his fate. “So,” he began, “what kind of story am I in, then? Am I in a mystery, or a comedy, or what? Please tell me that I’m not in a tragedy. I just got this really great girlfriend and-”

More accurately, I created a really great girlfriend for him. He hasn’t physically met her yet. He only thinks that he did.

“You can do that?”

It’s something we like to call ‘backstory’.


Anyway, I wouldn’t worry. He certainly isn’t in a tragedy- as far as I’m aware. In any event, James suddenly realized that he would be late for work if he kept up this prattling.

“Hey, you’re right!” James got dressed as quickly as he could, but stopped for a moment as he was putting his pants on. “Um... this is kind of embarrassing, but... what exactly do I do, anyway? As a career?”

James worked for a small firm called Baker Street Investigations. It was a small team of private investigators based in a rented flat two blocks from James’ apartment.

“Okay, then. A little cliche, I guess, but if it pays well, I’ll take it,” James said. “By the way, two blocks in which direction?”

Two blocks east. There. Did James have any other questions?

“Yeah. Why do you always refer to me in the past tense?”

* I need to improvise here. James was never supposed to know about his fictional nature. Hopefully, this awareness has not spread to the other characters. I do not believe that he can see the footnotes, so I should be safe here.

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