I Love This Part
Some authors hate the editorial phase of writing a book, I however love it. You take something you wrote, that you thought was good, and make it better. Sometimes to make it better you have to start over. That may mean erasing hundreds of words or adding something completely new. It can take months to make a manuscript flow properly. Single words can change entire chapters. It is a thrilling process.
I am doing this right now with my editor for the second book in the Lakeview series, Whisper.
I thought I might share a new chapter we just added. Remember it’s still rough.
Hope you enjoy!
A Lakeview Academy Novel
By Stacey R. Campbell
February 2nd, 1914
How could she have let it go this far? Surely she owed it to her father to be truthful, but admitting to him she had started the fire that nearly destroyed the school filled her with dread.
Elsie picked her way down the snow-covered path. She shivered. She needed to find him and explain what happened before it was too late. At least she had managed to save a few of the items he treasured most. He would be happy about that, although she doubted he would be overjoyed when he heard what else she had to say.
A single tear trickled down the side of her cheek. She wiped it away with her gloved finger and promised herself she would not cry. Her father thought tears were a sign of weakness. She would not let him down again.
Where was he? Mother said he would be in the crew house, yet the small room above the open boat storage looked dark from the path where she stood.
Elsie clutched the collar of her coat tightly, wishing the wind would let up. Snowflakes stuck to her eyelashes making it difficult to see. She slipped for a second time in as many minutes, barely catching her balance.
A layer of ice-covered the lake. Elsie wondered if it was thick enough to hold her. If she walked just along the edge, she wouldn’t have to stumble across the rocky path. In her mind, she heard her mother scolding her for entertaining the thought, still all that mattered now was reaching her father.
She tested the surface with the toe of her boot. It held. She inched her other foot out onto the ice. Last month they had been able to skate on the shallower bays farther down the shore, but the water was deeper here, well above her head.
Could this be as thick? She wondered, taking one step and then another. The ice held and Elsie felt relief wash over her body. Several feet from the shoreline the ice was smoother and easier to traverse, the risk would be worth it if it meant she wouldn’t have to stumble every other step.
Half way to the boathouse she heard a crack. At first she thought it was a branch breaking beneath the weight of the recent snowfall, but then she felt vibration beneath her feet and stilled.
The ice started to split a hundred yards from wear she stood. Elsie looked toward the rocky shoreline and wondered if she had time to reach it before the crack began to travel. She had seen this progression before when her brother’s threw rocks onto the ice and watched the lake reclaim them.
Lifting her foot she angled her body toward the rocky shoreline so that she could prepare to leap toward to safety of the land, but it was too late and the ice gave way beneath her feet.
Her heavy winter clothes wrapped around her legs and dragged her toward the bottom. Flailing her arms she pierced the surface with her head reaching for anything to hold on to, yet her hands found nothing and she sank beneath the ice into the dark depths of the lake. The falling snow covering any evidence she had been there at all.