In late spring this year I finally made a decision. I had been trying to edit one half of my novel with little success. I had to admit the story just did not work for me anymore and that it was not captivating enough, a feeling corroborated by some literary agents and beta readers. So I started from scratch again, keeping the same names for the main characters and some elements that in my eyes did work.

This is a first draft. As always, your comments and suggestions are precious and very welcome.


The set of little bells jingled softly. Kathleen exhaled deeply, her eyes closed. She opened them to look at the younger woman in front of her:
β€œHow are you feeling?β€œ
Both of them were sitting cross-legged on brightly coloured, comfortable cushions disposed on the walnut wooden floor. The woman looked down at the metal bowls arranged in front of her, the smaller ones filled with water; the movement brought her long, straight blond hair forward, veiling her face. She was hesitant, clearly struggling with the turmoil of emotions inside her. Kathleen gently reached out, putting her hand on her wrist:
“It’s OK. You need to process all these feelings, just take your time.”
The healer got up in one graceful movement and unpinned her hair, letting her gorgeous dark auburn curls cascade down her back. She then reached towards the ceiling with both arms, her fingers locked, palms facing up, slowly moving her head from one side to another. Her client was still on the floor. Kathleen dropped her hands and donned pretty embroidered slippers. “Tea would be a good idea,” she thought. She started to leave the sunny room, its large French windows opening onto a lush garden. At that moment, the blond woman started to sob.
Kathleen felt their presence before she even heard them. She turned in her brass double bed to face away from the door, pretending to still be asleep, and smiled. The giggles had started, the two little girls desperately trying to muffle them. Sliding more than crawling on the bleached wooden boards, they finally reached their target: The Nepalese hand woven rug with its intricate turquoise and brown design that their Mum had brought back from her last trip. They settled on it for less than a minute before starting to creep onto the bed. Kathleen waited until the twins were both on the mattress before she sprung around, shouting:
“Got you!”
There was a sharp intake of breath from both Meghan and Ness before they collapsed into their Mum’s arms, saying in unison:
“Mummy, you scared us!”
“Did I, now… That will teach you for waking me up early on a Sunday morning,” Kathleen replied, winking at them.
” I think it’s late, not early,” said Meghan seriously, “Ness and I are really hungry and look at the sun.”
She was pointing through the window. Kathleen frowned and grabbed her alarm clock: 9:20! It had happened again: The long, deep sleep full of vivid dreams. She declared:
“You’re absolutely right, it’s more than time to get up and go on a new adventure! But first, breakfast; I cannot wait to taste the funny bread rolls we made yesterday. The frog was yours Ness, correct?”
Ness nodded enthusiastically, beaming.
“Then the hedgehog is yours Meghan and I have… the octopus!”
With these words she reached towards her daughters, fingers undulating like tentacles, and tickled them until they begged for mercy. Kathleen then slipped a soft cardigan over her nightie, the girls waiting for her. Holding hands, they made their way downstairs.

39 thoughts on “Foundation |
Time For A Rewrite

  1. I love the way you’ve potrayed the relationship between mother and her daughters. Very touching and true to life. I want to know more about the blonde woman and her interaction with the healer! x
    Thank you for linking to #whatimwriting again x

  2. I love the second part of this when she is with her daughters – you really brought their relationship to life. The change in energy from the first part was very dramatic too. I can imagine there is more to be learned from Kathleen’s interesting dreams! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting

  3. I think it’s brave decision to start again, well done for persevering! Nice to read your writing too, two intriguing scenes and I’d like to know what happens next!

    1. I really was not going anywhere with the first version and I do want to finish that book! πŸ˜‰
      Glad that you found the scenes intriguing. xx

  4. A brave step to start again – but hopefully it’ll be a valuable one! I really like the contrast you’ve set up in this extract, and the switch of pace is particularly effective. I do wonder whether the denseness of your description gets in the way of the narrative at times – there were points where I found it a bit hard to follow, but I might just be tired! Kathleen’s character is certainly intriguing… X

    1. I hope so too! πŸ˜‰
      I posted a first draft of this extract on purpose, because I felt that I had gone a bit “overboard” with some of my descriptions. Thanks for your feedback. xx

  5. I’d definitely like to know more, well done for starting over!

    The bread rolls sound too strange to have not been made in real life – did the inspiration for them come from a baking disaster?

    Nice to find you through #whatimwriting πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you and happy that you liked the extract. πŸ™‚
      No baking disaster but I do have a cookery book with animal bread rolls in it… πŸ˜‰ xx

  6. Two powerful images, perhaps drawing on more of yourself?

    Be careful with using too ‘formal’ words (donned for example isn’t quite right), and I think you mean dispersed rather than disposed? How about just coloured cushions on the walnut floor?

    I got a nice chill from the description of the stretch x.

    1. Interesting first sentence…
      This is a first draft and you pointed out exactly what I thought might need revising. I REALLY do not like repetitions in a book and therefore always try to use synonyms, but sometimes the word does not quite work. I also thought some of my descriptions were too elaborate. Finally, I love having beta readers of English mother tongue as they usually spot the odd β€œFrenchism” left in the text… πŸ˜‰
      Glad you got a nice chill and thanks a lot for your very useful feedback. πŸ™‚ xx

  7. Agree with Lesley about the word ‘disposed’ and ‘donned’ although you got it spot on with ‘slipped’.
    There was lots of warmth in your descriptions which I liked and the narrative was engaging xx

    1. Thank you, Trish. πŸ™‚
      I thought I would try publishing a first draft as opposed to edited extracts like the others. Very touched that so many of you took the time to give me a detailed feedback. xx

  8. Congratulations on knowing you need to do something drastic! It’s taken a year for me to make a similar decision!

    Liked this a lot! Can we have a chapter a week?! πŸ˜‰ Seriously though, I would deffo want to carry on reading and if you need a beta reader just yell!

    1. It is not an easy decision to make, that is for sure! Well done you too!
      So happy you enjoyed this extract, I am planning on posting one more extract of the rewritten version but I have of course to be careful not to give too much away… πŸ˜‰
      Thank you so much for your kind offer, I will keep it in mind when I am a bit further with my story. xx

  9. So pleased to read some more of your writing! I agree it’s a brave decision to start over and I enjoyed reading it. I agree that some of your descriptions could be a little simpler, or even just restructuring them could help. For example, ‘the movement brought her long, straight blond hair forward, veiling her face’ could work as ‘the movement brought hair forward, creating a blond veil that hid her face’ or something much better, but hope that explains what I mean by restructuring! The agree about some of the words… But these are all things that can easily be edited when you get to your second draft. The story has pulled me in already – I want to know why the woman is crying, and how the two stories relate. I love the way you show the relationship between Kathleen and her daughters in the second scene. More please!

      1. Lovely to have your feedback, Rachael. And thank you for your enthusiasm! πŸ˜€
        The comments on this extract certainly confirmed what I was feeling and I have been doing some editing already.
        So glad to read the story has pulled you in already. πŸ™‚ xx

    1. Thank you Sara, very happy to read this!
      Yours and all the other comments certainly encourage me to write more. πŸ™‚ xx

    1. Hi Carol, thank you for stopping by! πŸ™‚
      Very happy you liked the extract, there will be one more coming up… xx

  10. I think it takes a lot of confidence and self honesty to start over and I totally salute you because it also means you are committed and have the self belief to get the job done. It will also be a much better story – well done you for taking on board the feedback. Anyway, I enjoyed what I read and would want to read more…. firstly the healer, why is she in healing in the dream – what’s happened in her life she is experiencing such vivid dreams (it was a dream, right? :o) ) and then I really liked the part with the daughters – their relationships felt real. X

    1. Interesting that you thought the first part was a dream… The dream mentioned will come up later in the book, Kathleen is a healer in “real life”.
      Thank you for you lovely comments and your support! πŸ™‚ xx

  11. I love the dialogue between the children and their mum. I don’t think you need to say that she declared something, though. It works fine as straight forward dialogue.

    I’m confused. Is the first bit not a dream then? I like the description of the scene around the two women. I would just make it clear that when you say ‘the healer’, you mean Kathleen.

    1. You are the third person to ask me whether the opening part if a dream or not, so I definitely have to make this clearer!
      Thank you for your suggestions and comments, very much appreciated. xx

  12. Intriguing. Think I’d like to read the previous chapter. The change in pace was very noticeable. Really want to know why she’s visiting a healer so it has that suspense, which I guess you were looking for. #fridayfiction

    1. You guessed right. πŸ™‚
      Very happy you find the extract intriguing and that you would like to read more. πŸ™‚ xx

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