Writing Workshop- First Person

This was written for Sandra's Writing Workshop.  You can comment on it 'thoughtfully' and constructively, but if you're mean, I reserve the right to kick your comment to the curb! I don't write in first person. Ever. It makes me very uncomfortable.  Which is why I put this off till today- the last day to post.  But, I decided to do it to try to hone my craft. (Wow, aren't you impressed with my fancy words? hehe)
This is a bit of a teaser to my book. It's a scene that is not fully described in the book, but which I had developed as back story.  I wrote it in first person only for this workshop. I don't love it. But, here it is anyway. Be kind.

Haven and Violet

The forest is dark tonight, and silent.  I can’t get a single tree to say hello to me.  I wish I’d brought Terra, or Bliss.  But, I know I have to get it.  There’s no way I can do this without it.

The entrance to the cave is almost hidden, so I think about the light in my hand and there it is.   A golden flame, my palm the candle.  I’m still amazed every time I make it. 

I duck into the cave, turning my body to fit the small opening.  When I look to the wall where the ball is held, I gasp.  There is Violet, mayor of our village and, strangely, my friend.  Her bulk takes up  almost the entire stone bench.  My light trembles a bit in my hand.  “I… How?”   I should be wondering how she knew I ‘d be here, but all I can think of is how in the world did she get in?  I look at the entrance and back to my friend.

“Come, sit, Haven.”  Violet pats the small space next to her.  I can’t help but smile.  “I need to talk to you.”  How many times has she said that phrase to me in the past months?  I don’t dread it, though, like I would with my parents. 
I move over and sit beside her, my right hand still holding the flickering light.  “Can you keep that going and still listen?” she asks me.

I nod, resting my hand on my leg.  Then I look in her eyes.  The playful glint is gone.  She looks so serious.  Probably because I’m leaving tomorrow. 

“Haven, the fact that you were the first Lightbearer in a very long time is not a coincidence.”

“What do you mean?”  I hadn’t thought much about being first.  Terra and Bliss had followed so closely behind me. 

"You were chosen long ago.  Your name has been in the Chronicle for generations.”

“Why didn’t anyone tell me?” I wondered aloud.  Maybe I could’ve been better prepared.

“How many people do you think get to read the book?”

I realize this is one of the first times I’ve ever seen her without it. Perhaps it would’ve made getting in here more difficult. I immediately realize how ridiculous that thought is.  I still don’t know how she managed.

“Not many.  Just the mayors?” I’m guessing.

She nods and her chins wobble a bit.  I’m going to miss her so much.

“And a few others.  I’ve a feeling you’ll read it someday.”  This news is a shock to me.  Does she think I’ll be the mayor?  I can’t begin to imagine.

“Can I read it now, before I go? Maybe it could help.”

“I wish it would help.  I’m afraid this time you’ll have to figure things out on your own.  That’s why I’m here.”  She reaches to her left and hands me the Sphera.  Its brass surface reflects my light.  I like the way it fits perfectly in my hand, not too big or too small.

“This is not your only guide on this journey.  You have something that is more powerful than the Sphera could be.”

I don’t know what she means.  I’ve seen this ball in my dreams and, though I still don’t know how to use it, I know it’s powerful.

“Here, Haven,” she touches my temple, “and here.” She touches my chest.  “You must learn to rely on the things you know and the things you feel.  You are smart and perceptive.  But, if you doubt yourself, or your feelings, that will be your downfall.  Trust yourself.”

I laugh a little at this thought.  “That isn’t easy to do.”

“I know.  But, you also have something else.  You have Terra and Bliss.  One person with the light of goodness is strong.  The three of you together?  That’s incredibly powerful.”

Now I laugh out loud.  Three teenage girls? It seems ridiculous.

“I’m serious, Haven.”  Her tone stops my laughing.  “I’m warning you.  You will be tested and if you aren’t ready, terrible things could happen.  Promise me that you’ll remember what I’ve said.”

I see that her eyes are brimming.  I hate when she does that. It always makes me cry, too.  “I will.  I promise.” 

“Good girl.”  She puts her large hand around mine and the Sphera.  “Come home safe.”  I nod.

Then, she sends me on my way.  I leave her in the cave, not wondering how she’ll get out.  I’m not the only one with a bit of magic.  I run home, fist tight around the Sphera, listening to the whisperings of the forest around me.  The trees, no longer quiet, fill my mind with encouraging thoughts and wishes. 

I’m ready. I guess. 


  1. I seriously love this story and can't wait to buy the first copy of your book!

    1. Thank you. It means a lot that you love it.

  2. 'Be kind' she says. How cold I not be kind about this?!?!?

    You are seriously talented missy! You have drawn me and and I can't wait to find out what happens, does she survive??? arghhh, have they discovered time travel yet so I can fast forward and read it all when you have surrendered it??

    Have some confidence in your writing, I know easier said, but seriously it is great!

    1. Thanks so much. It's always good to know someone would want to read more.

  3. You rock sister!

  4. I can't wait to read your book! You have some talent!

  5. You did it, the close first person narrative! So glad you linked up. This is indeed the "spoken" or ccolloquial. The trick with the close first person perspective though, is not to lose sight of telling details; if you look at the Updike sample I posted, you hear the teenage voice but you also see his surroundings; details of thte store, character physical descrpptions. There are ways of workingn those details in. For ex. here there are names, but as the reader I wasn't able to distinguish them as I couldn't envision them. Does that make sense? But that all comes with revision:) Thanks for linking up, though I think you lilnked up my URL instead of yours -- can you go back and relink?

    1. I relinked- not sure how I managed linking to yours.
      Thanks for the feedback. I think part of the problem is that it is from a book and I've done so much describing of these characters that it seems a given. I'll go back and revise.
      Thanks again for doing this. Working my writing muscles is almost as hard as working the physical ones.

  6. Fine. You looped me into real writing when I was all ready for easy-breezy blog stuff. Sneaky you. But I can't lie. I liked it. More please.

  7. Great story!! I loved it. ♥


  8. Loved this little glimpse at a different angle of the story. I kind of know what you mean in your comment above about spending so much time with the characters that they seem like a given--the mere mention of their names conjures up whole people for me, too. ;)

  9. Wow .. I almost thought I was watching a scene from a movie! Great post. I also did mine --first time ever! http://journeyofmylifendestiny.blogspot.com/2012/06/i-believe-that-if-we-meet-once-we-are.html


Post a Comment

Are you one of the three? Stand up and be counted!

Popular posts from this blog

How to Celebrate Your 44th Birthday

Your Mom Goes to College

Ten Toes