Here's the first page of TMACP. My goal (and so far I'm on track) is the have it done by Oct. 1st. I've really planned this one out well and the writing has stuck to the outline beautifully, which means the plot is nice and tight. My husband argues that I stifle creativity that way--and though the planning way doesn't likely work for everyone--I find there still are enough surprises to make writing interesting. It also helps me add many science and history elements. So again, my methods probably go back to the right-brained/left-brained usage (see bio). I certainly never went out in the field to collect data without creating a data collection sheet!
Chapter 1. Patience Takes the Blame
Patty peered sullenly out a sheet of mud-caked hair. The drying earth and pig refuse chafed her backside too, up into her petticoat. She itched at the spot and several boys snickered behind her. She would have to remind them of their imprudence later, once she was cleaner and more confident.
“Patience Tabitha Cowdery, come here at once,” called Mrs. Hibberd, steel in her voice.
The boys snickered again and Patty gritted her teeth. Now she would have to pay them double, this time for laughing at her name. Nobody but Mrs. Hibberd had the courage to call her Patience. She wondered how long it would take to make the boys cry when she and Court pinned them down and poked their chests repeatedly. Manky wouldn’t last long—for all the help his height gave him, he wasn’t the toughest of sorts.
She walked slowly to the porch steps of the three-story, ramshackle house, ducking beneath the plank boards wedged against the frame that kept the structure somewhat erect. She halted at the bottom step and picked at the peeling blue paint, careful not to make eye contact with the Hibberd.
Hibberd stood on the top step, tapping her foot and propping her hands on her extremely large hips. She towered over most men, and at Patty’s small size, she seemed as tall as the balsam firs that blanketed the Maine landscape. Court was already there behind their guardian’s wide girth, his shoulders slumped contritely. She knew he wasn’t sorry for himself or afraid of the Hibberd. He felt guilty for the trouble Patty was about to enter.
“What have you done to your clothes, young lady?” cried Mrs. Hibberd.
Patty shrugged. “Fell.”
“Fell where? A pig pen?”
Patty squirmed. The old broad had guessed and Patty wished for the thousandth time that she could pull off a convincing lie like Court could.