Excerpt of Fantasy Novel
By Claire Giannosa
This novel sprouted on a summer night; my fingers soon grew tired from typing furiously on the keyboard. Charlotte’s story is rooted in friendship—the friendship she shares with Raia—and this excerpt showcases their first meeting.
Charlotte took a deep breath and turned the corner.
But as she kept running, she felt inexplicably warm. The dirty stretch of sidewalk no longer felt like just an alleyway, but like a home.
That thought sent her mind spiraling. She instinctively thought of wings and high-pitched laughs, hardly paying attention to where she was going.
“Oof!” the sound escaped Charlotte’s lips before she registered what had happened.
She collided with something—no, someone—and looked to the side to see the flash of an arm.
She immediately jerked back when—
The floor seemed to fall under her.
Charlotte screamed as air came rushing up all around her—rippling her clothes and cupping around the sides of her ears. Her stomach churned in circles and she flung her arms in a futile attempt to grab onto something.
Then her entire body jerked violently, and her feet gently landed back on solid ground.
Everything was silent for a second.
“Sorry about that!” an unknown voice squeaked.
Charlotte shakily lifted her head and saw a girl with dark skin and an apologetic expression give her a little wave.
“It’s always jarring the first time.”
“I-I’m sorry,” Charlotte said as she cleared her throat. “What just happened?”
“We fell,” the girl replied, smiling brightly.
Charlotte then realized something was off. The air on her skin felt different: cooler, but all encompassing, like the remnants of a hug. She smelled all different types of herbs and spices that tickled her nose with their unfamiliarity. And when she took a deep breath, her entire body felt weightless.
Charlotte looked back at the girl. She seemed about her age, and the bright gold dress she wore was almost blinding.
“Where, exactly, did I fall?” Charlotte asked, almost afraid to hear the answer.
When I first thought of this story, I had no idea it would be in the place it is now. From a long document filled with bare outlines of a world under New York City and faint images of two girls defeating evil, to—almost—100 pages of a novel. My mentor, Anna, helped me take my messy document and expand it, using the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novel workbook. We first constructed an outline: taking the long slew of events, putting them in order, and expanding upon them—eventually creating a white board detailing all the scenes. And then I dived in. Writing the first chapter was a thrill. It was exhilarating to finally see my character in action and get a feel for what her thought process was like. But as I moved forward, my entire vision of the novel began to change. I realized my original outline was too narrow, so I went back and outlined chapter by chapter. And now that I am further into writing the book, that original outline seems very different to me than what I have planned now. At this moment, even though writing this novel has been a slow process, it has been a joyous one, one that I look forward to continuing exploring.
Claire Giannosa is a young writer from NYC, who spends all of her free time lost in stories. Last year she started writing her very first novel, and hopes to one day share many more with the world. Outside of writing, she is an active board member of Model United Nations and enjoys engaging in international policy. She also spends time exploring the city, dancing with elementary school kids, and scribbling poems in a notebook.
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