Author2024-01-29T12:49:22-06:00

Write. Edit. Revise. Repeat.

AMANDA NAIL

Three Samples Of Finest Paragraphs From 3 Original Fiction Pieces

Why they appeal to me aesthetically and what strikes me as their greatest strength:

It is important to me that everything I write sounds compelling when read aloud. These passages showcase my attention to diction, sound devices, and syntax to craft a voice and create pacing and rhythm that manipulate how the reader experiences moments of intense emotion, mystery, or suspense. I also enjoy the playful and vivid use of figurative language throughout these passages: unique similes, metaphors, and imagery that make specific symbolic details connected to the theme or setting shine and bring the experience on the page to life.

Fiction Samples

by the trash can there and stare out at the surface of the river, slick as black ice, chilling my insides as sure as my memories do. Standing here, at the center of Dusty’s world, I know he’s out there somewhere, in the woods, walking between the chain link fences of the houses, sitting beside the river, perhaps right behind me underneath the overpass, or by the pier, always looking, just as he did when we were kids. Tossing the butt of my cigarette into the trashcan and making my way into the neighborhood, I’m stunned, after months of being locked up in the house, to notice, and not just feel, how much everything hasn’t changed, in months, in years.

It’s unsettling. I close my eyes and steady my breathing until I melt into the darkness around me and all the world is barely moving. When the click of the sliding door’s lock reaches my ears and the porch light goes off, I open them again. I see her staring hard out the window one last time and will her to stop and go on to bed. She throws back her wine, places the glass tenderly in the sink, and turns off the light on her way up the stairs.

Finally, I’m able to relax and lean back in my chair.

I wait till I see the lamp flick on in the window upstairs. I have to wait to see her silhouette drape her robe over the back of that chair by the window—a chair I imagine she uses for the excellent light it must get when the kids are at school, and she can do her reading or needlepoint in peace. The kids keep her so busy, especially in the evenings.

There it is.

The slender wisp of her shape revealed for an instant before shrinking into bed and taking all the light with her.

Every flicker of rabbit’s fur shooting through the tall grass, every creak in the eaves, every scratch of the pear tree’s branch on the kitchen screen has been a premonition worthy of a race to the knife block since her partner, Nik, left an hour ago. It’s been six months since they moved into the farmhouse, and she still isn’t used to country life.

When she agreed to move here— away from neighbors so close she could hear them yelling at their TVs through the walls, away from the hundreds of shoulders, she’d brush on the way to work and the many diverse stoops, storefronts, and side streets you could belong to— it was for the promise of peace and quiet, and solitude— it’s own kind of protection when you knew the world was beginning to burn down around you.

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