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Help me write Julia, a new novel

CoverHere’s the opening to a possible new novel. It reads like it will be in the chick lit genre, which is not my primary genre. But I really like the main character so far, so I’d like to pursue it. I’m looking for help from readers to build the story lines. I’ll write the book around the story lines I think are going to work. If you’re interested, let’s start a conversation.


Julia is not ‘stunningly’ beautiful as most heroines tend to be. Neither is she ‘striking’, unless of course she happens to be striking you. No, Julia is none of that: she’s ‘odd’, not falling into any category or stereotype. With her round white face, pink-purple lipstick, and dead black hair, you might start with ‘punk’. However, the pink polo shirt screws that perception up pretty good although the strangely patterned and colored over-sized scarf flung over it might give you pause. The ragged, torn, and apparently dirty jeans might not bring you back to ‘punk’—more like ‘unkempt’. The cowboy boots? Well, aside from the fact that they match her hair, your brain might start to frazzle in its attempt to make any sense out of this. Her ‘just a little plump’ body does stretch the denim a little, but ‘it works’, she likes to say. Looking at the 26-year old woman, you might disagree, but on closer examination, you might nod your head and think that maybe it does work. Julia thinks her body is a different kind of rack—something that just holds her art, her clothes. Ok, you think, maybe she’s a designer, or maybe she got lucky that day.

Many people give up trying to understand and classify her right about now—usually about ten seconds into the first encounter—and that’s just fine with Julia. Who she is is known to, and understood by, her and her alone. Again, that’s fine: people may not like what they find if they start to probe too far; there are things that people simply should not know. They will find out eventually—but not at this point.

If people get beyond the initial failure to classify her, the next thing they notice is the eyes: deep, dark, crazy green, set in her face like highly mascaraed emeralds painted on a china plate. But, on closer examination, there is something, something like a beam that emanates from them: a tractor beam, hard to pull away from. If you stay too long, you’ll see an intensity that is frightening—unless it isn’t, unless you want to be pulled in; unless you need what her eyes promise; unless you are short on what she seems long on. The more you need, the closer you get. Very few people get that far: fear starts right about halfway—or desire. And that’s the critical difference. The ones that venture farther expect reward for their courage. Some get it. Most won’t.

If people looked even farther inside those eyes, they would see a fire, a burning intelligence and…is it anger? Then they ask: ‘where did she come from’?


The back door slammed, startling Julia, pulling her concentration away from the Barbie doll she was dressing and sketching instead of doing her homework. “Daddy?”

“Hi,” Sean called from the front of the house.

Julia knew his frame of mind just from that one word. Her father had four or five different ways to say ‘hi’, and this was the worst. She put down her ‘tools’, as she called them, and went to find him.

“What’s wrong?” she asked as she sat down at the kitchen table where had taken refuge, from what, she didn’t yet know. “You want some tea?”

He looked up, his eyes moist. “Sure, honey.”

She got up and gathered the necessary items, putting the water on to boil. “What’s wrong?”

“Remember the company I showed the XXX to a couple years ago? Ralsting Corporation?”

“I think so.”

“Yea, they threw me out. They told me they didn’t think it was a fit for their company. ‘Nobody would buy it’, they said.”

“So? That’s happened before.” She hesitated before adding: “a lot.”

Sean reached into his pocket and pulled out an article he had cut from a magazine. “It seems as though they thought it was good enough to produce.” He handed it to Julia.

“This is your design! How could they do that?”


If you’re interested in playing in this collaborative writing venture–contributing story ideas–please let me know.


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