Corinne C

Aspiring Writer

16

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Stargazer

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Ideas:
First person narrative
Emotional
Female main character(s)
Relateable story
Varying between past & present tense
Slice of life
Adventure

Target primary audience: Adventure, slice of life. Ages 11-16. Anyone looking for a nice slice of life story about childhood and adventure. 


One-line: Eleven year old Quin, Toma and Len run away from the orphanage to travel the world together. 

Blurb: After her parent’s death when Quin was just six years old, she was sent to an orphanage far from her parent’s home for she had no other relatives left that would take her in. At the orphanage she was put in the care of Mrs. Wickhost (also called Mrs. Wicked), a horrible and nasty old woman. There she met Toma and Len; her two bestfriends and the most important people in her life. Together, at age 11 they run away from the orphanage and out to the world that was waiting to be explored.


Sample:
Star Gazer

When I was younger, I made a wish.
When you look up at the night sky you see millions and billions of stars and gaze upon their wonders and mysteries. Millions and billions of sparkling stars that signify hope and bear upon them many many wishes. I think that’s really beautiful, don’t you think so? Different people of different times with different difficulties with different hopes and dreams.

On my own, I climbed up a tiny little hill. I raised my head to look up at the stars and there I saw a shooting star. Another chance for humankind to make a wish. I closed my eyes and I could no longer see the enchanting lights but could only see darkness and feel the wind blowing violently all around me.  I realized that I didn’t have any particular wish so I stayed with my eyes closed for a few minutes whilst all the while trying to search my mind for anything that I would want.
“Got it,” I said out loud.
I opened my eyes and finally said my innocent wish, “I wish to become a star.”

It was a childish wish made by childish me. I knew that I could never really become a star like those up in the night sky, I wasn’t stupid but still, I wished and I believed it could be true. I wanted to friends with the stars and be one too. It seemed to me that the night starry sky was so beautiful, I couldn’t help but wish to become something just as beautiful and enchanting.

As the night breeze blowed through my hair, I stared at the stars once more and smiled at their beauty. I walked away then. I walked away with my hands in my winter coat, with a smile on my face and with my eyes full of youth and hope.

 

I feel really cold but I’m not going to complain since I’m having the time of my life with the two most important people in my life; Toma and Len. My bestfriends.

Len has light brown short pixie cut hair with freckles all over her white pale face. Sometimes I get jealous of her since she’s the kind of person that can do anything if she set her mind on it whilst I have to flop around like a fish out of water at times. Toma on the other hand, with her long black hair, perfect skin and with an appearance that makes you immediately think of elegance is the opposite of Len. Toma, contrary to her appearance is extremely clumsy and is most probably the most goofiest person I have ever met during these first eleven years of my life.

Inside our badly-made tent, we decided to make a vow together. The vow is to always be together and whoever broke it would have to swallow a thousand needles (Toma came up with the last bit).
After we made our vow, we decided to go outside our tent and sit outside on the grass with our one blanket huddled up against us trying to share as much warmth as possible.
“We’ll always be together now, right?” asks Len, seeking confirmation.
“Sure we will, we pinky promised! Whoever doesn’t has to swallow a thousand needles!” says Toma with her loud voice, laughing.
“If that’s not enough, we can always wish on it,” I say.
“Wish on it?” they ask in unison.
“Yeah, on a star,” I point to the starry night sky.
Each of our eleven year old eyes focus on the stars and the night sky that surrounded us.
“Let’s wait for a shooting star,” says Toma, “It would be even more special if we wish on a shooting star, don’t you think?”
Len sighed, “The chances of that happening are close to zero! Shooting stars don’t happen all the time.”
I close my eyes, take a deep breath then open my eyes again, “Let’s wait,” I say.
I have a feeling I can’t quite describe. I know that if we wait, we’d see a shooting star and then we’d make our wish together.

We decided to wait in the end and I’m not really sure for how long we sat and waited in the quiet darkness, all of us doing nothing but stare at the sky. It could have been an hour or two before the silence was shattered.

“There it is! There it is!” shouts Toma cheerfully, “Quick, let’s make our wish!”
We interlock our hands together to make our wish, “We wish to be friends forever!” we all yell in unison.
“And may only death do us part!” shouts Toma, laughter in her voice.

That was the second time I had made a wish on a shooting star but this time, the only difference was that I wasn’t alone and that my wish wasn’t all that impossible.

 

It’s around three in the morning and all three of us are still awake.
This is the first time in my life that I have stayed up so late. Even though it’s really late, I feel really giddy and energized and I’m sure both Len and Toma feel the same.

Somewhere along the way, we ended up falling asleep but neither of us remember how and when. We wake up the next morning entangled together in a bizarre sort of way. Knowing us, the very first thing we do is laugh.

After a bit more play-fighting and giggles, we finally pick up our stuff that was lying around carelessly and (as Toma calls it) ‘destroy’ our tent. Me, Toma and Len hand-in-hand started trudging down the hill from where our tent was and back into camp. We weren’t really supposed to go up the hill, we were supposed to stay with the others from camp but we went up anyway even though Len was against it at first. 

“Uuuhhhh,” mutters Len, partly hiding behind Toma who’s slightly taller than the two of us.
“What’s wrong Len?” I ask.
“We’re going to get shouted at and it’ll be yours and Toma’s fault for dragging me into this.”
Toma sighs, “We are NOT going to be shouted at. I tell you, no one even cares we left. Especially not Mrs. Wickhost, you know what she’s like.”
Len cringes, “That’s why I’m afraid because I know exactly how Mrs. WICKED is like.”

Mrs. Wickhost AKA Mrs. Wicked is a short bony wrinkled old woman with grey hair that’s always tied up in a neat bun. She’s not really nice to look at… especially since she’s always scowling at us in her own horrific way. She’s our caretaker and also the supposed mother figure in our life as we live in the orphanage but unfortunately, that isn’t how it is. In the orphanage she’d usually yell at us and call us names for really no reason at all.
An example we particularly like is, “Yer worse than pigs! ‘othin but e’ bunch o’ smelly kids!”

We don’t really know where Mrs. Wickhost got the pigs part from. Len’s theory is that Mrs. Wickhost had grown up on a farm taking care of pigs. Toma and I agree since we can’t make up something better.

Even though Mrs. Wickhost is the meanest person in our life at the orphanage, outside of the orphanage she was a completely different person that sometimes it’s almost scary. She’ll make sure we won’t get hurt and she’ll usually give us sweets and beverages. We like this part of Mrs. Wickhost a lot more but sadly, we know why she acts so different in public. She doesn’t want people to think that she’s mistreating us, because when we’re out of earshot from other people, she starts to quietly whisper insults to us and the rest of the children.

One time I remember was when Little Lisa unjustly got called on. Little Lisa is a short thin girl with blonde hair from our orphanage and she’s also the youngest from the rest of the children. For some reason or another, Mrs. Wickhost likes Lisa the least from all the children and ever since we realized that, we’ve become friends with Little Lisa and try to help her. We like to think of ourselves as her big sisters.

Along with Mrs. Wickhost and the rest of the children, we went out for the day to a tiny little park not so far from the orphanage. We were having a great time playing with eachother and with Mrs.Wickhost being nice and friendly but that all ended when the people who were there next to us moved away to buy food somewhere.
Then the real Mrs.Wicked came out. She called us over with her face all scrunched up in a nasty and horrific sort of way; we understood then what was coming.

“Ye better not make e fool aut ‘f me!” She said to all of us nastily.
Alas, Mrs. Wicken then decided to point her long wrinkled finger at Little Lisa who squirmed back in fright to no avail, “When we git home, t’s down to de basement with ye… throwin’ muck all over me dress.”
A look of horror dawned on Little Lisa’s face.
Mrs.Wicked continued insulting us, telling us what we did wrong, when and how until finally some people moved back to where we were so Mrs. Wicked had no choice but to go into hiding. Out came Mrs.Wickhost, our fake friendly and beloved caretaker.
 At that point, Little Lisa had already cried oceans and none of us could do anything about it.

No one ever wants to go down in the basement and no one ever wishes it on someone else. The basement is a real life hell for us. Mrs. Wicked would make us sleep there with an empty stomach all alone in the dark with nothing more than a measly blanket on the floor. For us young children, that’s really frightening especially when Mrs. Wicked starts telling us stories when she’s feeling particularly nasty about how she knows someone died there once.


I pat Len on her back and say, “Don’t worry. There’s probably other campers around besides us. Mrs. Wicked won’t yell so hopefully when we get home, she’d have long forgotten- if she noticed, that is.”
“I hope so,” mutters Len quietly.
“Come ON guys, stop being so gloomy. Look, we’re almost there,” Toma points at the nearing tents and people downhill, “suck it up or Mrs. Wicked will know something’s up.”

We walk for less than a minute more before we finally arrive at camp. I immediately spot Mrs. Wickhost talking to an elderly man whom we do not know. I nudge Toma and Len and point.
“Let’s go, let’s goo!” I whisper in a hurried attempt and start pushing both of them towards the most populated areas.
We try to move quickly and stealthily and luckily, we got there in time because exactly when we got to the rest of the children, Mrs. Wickhost stops talking to the man and walks over to us. I feel Len freeze up next to me.
“Everyone ‘ere?” Mrs. Wickhost asks then starts counting us one by one, “Good. Pack up, we’ll be leavin soon.”
Mrs. Wickhost finally leaves from our side and goes inside an isolated tent to which I suppose is hers. I doubt whether any of us here would want to set up our tent next to hers.
Len sighs in relief, “If we were any later, we would’ve had it.”
Toma giggles, “But we didn’t!”

Little Lisa walks over to us with her hands crossed and wearing a sulky face, “Where have you been?!”
Toma, Len and I look at eachother and a fit of laughter overcomes us.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” I say between laughs.
“Yeah, yeah, we’re sorry for laughing. We couldn’t help it,” says Toma.
“We’re just so relieved that you’re the one yelling at us, Lisa,” says Len.
“I was so worried about you three! Everyone was. We thought a bear got you or something! But we knew we couldn’t tell Mrs. Wicked or that’d be a worser fate than bears!” shouts Lisa in a somewhat squeaky voice.
We stop laughing, stand up straight and cross our hearts, “We’re sorry for making you worry, Little Lisa,” we all say in perfect monotone.
Little Lisa sighs and smiles, “I’m just glad you’re okay.”

Notes:
(available on Wattpad)
I wasn't really sure about whether or not I should write in past or present tense. I'm more used to writing in past tense but I really wanted to give present tense a try; I wanted it to be a story where the reader can feel like they're part of it too. I decided to vary between the tenses when appropriate.
I wrote and re-wrote it a whole lot and I hope the end result is alright. I mostly focused on characters for the first chapter and not the story so I hope that wasn't a fatal move.
Thank you for reading. :)

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