The Confessions of M. | Skillshare Projects

H. G. Waters

Writer / Nerd



The Confessions of M.



I've been writing seriously for a little over a year now. It started with one short story (then an attempted novel then back to short stories) before I got to the project I'm currently working on. So let's jump in, shall we? 

(Note: I blog sometimes, which accounts for my love of parantheses and informal writing when I'm not, ya know, writing. Meaning, working on my project. I'm sorry, I woke up early for work, and after looking at numbers all day, I've gone goofy.)

Speaking of, work is how I got the inspiration for this story. I worked tutoring kids last year and had some breaks during the day. Usually I would look at tons of book blogs and add everything interesting to my (ever-growing) TBR list. But, shockingly, your eyes get kind of tired after that. Staring at a computer screen and all. So I had a scrap of notebook paper and wrote what would turn into the first entry of my novel, namely this:


Entry One

This is the truth. The whole truth.

It's easy, I think, when putting pen to paper, to cut and stretch. To make myself appear kinder or cleverer. To add little bits of embellishment here and there, or perhaps to wind the little pains into a tight ball, small enough to be curled in my fist. But I can't. The words flow quickly and the truth is intoxicating. Slit me open and a spurt of black will pour out, thick and viscous. Ink and words bruising my skin, throbbing in the pads of my fingertips.

Blood means nothing. It is forgotten.

Words, words, words thrumming through me: these matter. Ink thicker than blood thicker than water.

I am the reason she's dead.

Perhaps I should have started with that. She lies buried beneath six feet of earth and a slick of frost, and I am the reason for it.

I can confess here. After all, I am simply scratches on a page. Sure, your mind can comprehend them. You can translate these marks however you want and judge me as you will. But you cannot find me. You cannot confront me to fling my words back at me and decry my cowardice.

Only I can do that.

Only I can set myself free.


Entry Two

We're alone, I think, you and me. Alone together. Do we even exist on the same plane? Or are we each other's phantoms and mere figments of imagination? It's hard for me to tell.

Maybe you aren't alone though. Maybe you're still connected to people.

I know I'm not. Really, I have no one to blame but myself. I wear my guilt like a brand or the Mark of Cain. No one can touch me or look at me, and if I get close, I'll harm people seven times over. It's better that I stay away. Invisible. That's why I'm writing to you. (Not writing, really. Confessing. Explaining.)

I didn't used to be like this. Isolated and such.

The pair of us (us) used to lean against each other, throwing our heads back laughing. I couldn't feel the loneliness pressing in; it didn't exist. I can see it as a snapshot: her and I shoulder to shoulder, a stray hair tickling my nose, my legs crossing over her lap. Hair tossed and throats exposed. Eyes crinkled from the force of our laughter.

It was haunting, the melody we created.

When I feel alone, it's because the thread between us has been cut. The frail web that connected us snapped, and I remember we were there (we were we were) laughing, and I now feel nothing.

N o t h i n g.

Because I killed her and she is gone and I was left here. And she's dead, but I'm the ghost.

I can't banish the memories. Her.

Her warm body pressed against mine. And that moment speeds up again, and our arms wrap around one another and the noise lingers in the air and the room is hot from the force of our life and our gasps of laughter.

Can you see it? Can you see what happened? Because for a brief flicker of a moment, she felt real. Like she still exists and I am redeemed. Only in memory can she forgive me. Only in memory.

So I am alone on this plane, except for you. Human awareness stretches between the pair of us. A fragile thread connecting your existence to mine. You are here. I am here.

Alone together.


(If you are interested in answers, the story is here.

Still, I had to ask my questions. Like what is going to happen? What are the bare bones of this story? So, I wrote a summary so I would know what the heck was going on with this story. (This thing called "plot," incidentally, is what I struggle with most. Having a summary is a nice little map for myself.


A nice little map for myself

M., a college sophomore, is haunted by the events of a year ago that ended another girl's life. In an attempt to clear her conscience, she writes her confession down in a battered notebook and leaves it to you, the reader. This search for redemption, however, has unintended consequences that she struggles to cope with. As M. spirals deeper into herself, the lies and truths she's told become more muddled, and she's drawn down a path she's not sure she can escape from.


Maps are all well and good, but I'm a pro at getting lost. (No joke. I went to Europe for a semester during college. Lost and unlost are my only states of being. Of course, those are mutually exclusive... and I'm rambling again. Awesome.)

Okay, I get lost. So I needed people to keep me on track. Readers and critics and friends, right? That happy medium you see is readers. (Critics don't necessarily like your genre or style or whatever and friends are wonderful, but also might sugar-coat the hell out of everything) Who were going to be my readers then? That mysterious, mythological group?

I intend (and am) dealing with some heavy stuff in my story. Grief, depression, relationships, etc. along with friendship, love and redemption. So people who dig that. As an early twenty-something who only graduated a year ago, I want something aimed at young adults or whatever this new adult business is. There isn't a typical romance in this story and it is told with alternating timelines and fluctuating between first and (wait-for-it) second person point-of-view. Sooo... someone curious to explore different writing styles.

With all of this, I'd guess I have about a third of this story written. I'm not very good at this "chronological order" thing, so estimates are rough. Being that this is a novel (<--I feel pretentious writing that. Oh, I can't go out tonight; I'm working on my novel, you see.) written as a journal, I have fourteen entries posted online and probably twenty-five written. All in all, it's coming along.




This is where we are. I'm writing everything in a notebook (different ink for each entry), and doodling in it and writing random notes or scrawling maps, so it looks how it would if you actually picked up M.'s notebook. (It's an interesting excercise. I write as M. and if I go back and reread I'm the reader she's left her story to.

Anyway, that's where I'm at with this. I've got things to polish and tweak and finish, but it keeps on a'comin'


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