06/07/2016
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Under the Microscope extra

22112ad8-0f12-4dbf-90dd-e927130d734a

CE McVey's coming-of-age novel went 'under the microscope' in our August issue. Read James's suggested rewrite of the extract below, and see the August issue for the original and James's feedback

His hope for a day off school had been encouraged briefly when he’d gone down for breakfast and found his mother listening to Radio Oxford in the kitchen. This only ever happened during emergencies such as extreme weather or … well, there had been no four-minute warning on the news that morning.

She spoke without looking up from the creaking ironing board and hissing iron: “They’ve read out the school closures. Granger’s isn’t one.”

Bollocks!

‘How you feeling?’ she said.

‘Oh. Alright,’ he said. “Well, I mean . . .” He held his hand tentatively to his forehead, watching for her reaction. Was it possible to have concussion two days after being kicked in the head?

‘Good. Well. Back to school today, then.’ She nodded towards two pieces of cold white toast waiting for him on the worktop

‘But—’

She looked up, eyebrows raised to receive and defeat the protest.

‘They’re saying there’s going to be more snow, though! A weather front coming in from the East – blizzard conditions. The AA are saying not to make journeys unless absolutely necessary.’ His voice had gone high and squeaky –childish and whiney instead of fifteen and serious. He cleared this throat gruffly.

His mother looked pointedly out of the window as a car swished unimpeded through in the slush.

‘Sorry, kiddo. If school’s open, you’re going in like everyone else. Your dad’s gone to work, and look – there’s Emma on her way now.’ She nodded over the road.

Rob watched as Emma, masked in a steaming cream snood and hugging her folders to her chest like the American college girl she wanted to be, picked her way through patchy snow down the driveway.

Even Emma wasn’t enough to make him want to go in today.

 

Back to "How to write fiction" Category

06/07/2016 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Coffee break exercise: Jewellery

Use a piece of jewellery as the spark to create a gem of a new piece of writing in this week's coffee break ...


How to put together a poetry anthology

Ana Sampson, editor of She is Fierce: Brave, bold and beautiful poems by women, on the art of anthologising ...


Read more, write better! Writing Magazine bonus content, October 2018

Background reading, exclusive extracts and more to complement your latest Writing Magazine ...


Under the Microscope extra: Divine Embers

Our suggested rewrite of the first 300 words of a reader's historical novel ...


Other Articles

Coffee break exercise: Bicycle

The cycle of your choice will inspire a new piece of work in this week's creative writing exercise ...


Neil Gaiman: Why books matter

Read an exclusive extract from Art Matters, written by Neil and illustrated by Chris Riddell ...


10 reasons NOT to date a writer

Have you ever wanted to date a writer? Here are ten reasons you might want to think again. ...


Coffee break exercise: Photographs

Use an old photograph to create a new piece of work in this week's creative writing exercise ...