The Three Seasons
When I was in high school, I set out to write a novel with my best friend “inspired” by true events. It was called “The Three Seasons” and revolved around three friends – Sommer, Autumn and Winter – all in love with the same boy.
In my debut novel Level 2, I have Felicia and her best friend Autumn writing the same book (how very meta of me!), and I thought it would be fun to take a look at this “masterpiece” today on Cuddlebuggery.
Let’s dive in with the first paragraph of chapter one.
Is anyone interested in reading on after this yawn of an opening? If I were writing this today, I’d excise all of the first eight chapters because they are all backstory.
True, some of it is important backstory, but it could be inserted in small nuggets throughout the story.
In any case, my favorite part of this excerpt is how scandalized Autumn is by the girl’s choice of outfit “on the first day of school!”
The scene goes on and Autumn bonds with both the cutoff jeans girl (Sommer) and a shy girl in a fancy blue dress (Winter). They decide to play together at recess where Autumn has this hilarious confrontation with her friend Adena:
The sad part is that many of my playground interactions in fourth grade actually went down this way. I love how melodramatic it is – and that it foreshadows the extreme amount of melodrama to come.
At the end of this chapter, the three girls pledge to be “the three seasons – best friends forever.”
Fast forward to chapter nine – eleventh grade – and Sommer is secreting dating Charles, a boy both Autumn and Winter (Jessica) have a crush on.
In chapter seventeen, Winter and Autumn finally find out about this betrayal (about time!) and in chapter eighteen, we have another hilarious confrontation, this time between Winter and Sommer:
Notice the repetition of the word “look”? Yeah. This section could use some line editing. Also, that last sentence scores very high on the DRAMA LLAMA scale.
But it gets worse. Oh yeah it does. Because chapter twenty happens and Winter (Jessica) goes to Charles’ place to declare her love – which is met with the following:
How convenient! How morbid! How embarrassing that I wrote this!
Still, I bet you want to know how it ends right? Though I never finished writing more than three chapters, fortunately for you, I did create an extensive outline. So here
Charles doesn’t die, but Winter commits suicide because she thinks she killed
At Winter’s funeral, Autumn meets Charles’ hot cousin (why is he going to Winter’s funeral? Who knows?) and she likes him but feels guilty about pursuing happiness while grieving for Winter.
Fortunately, Winter’s mother reveals that Winter was about to die from a brain tumor anyway, and convinces Autumn to be happy. So she agrees to go out with Charles’ cousin. The story ends on a double date with the two happy couples toasting Winter.
I assure you, Level 2 is much, much, much better than this high school effort. I promise!
Three levels. Two loves. One choice. Debut novelist, Lenore Appelhans has written a thrilling otherworldly young adult novel about a place that exists between our world (Level 1) and what comes after life (Level 2).
‘I pause to look around the hive – all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories … I’ve wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.’
Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend … and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.
Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.
Read the first 50 pages for free!
About Lenore Appelhans
Thanks to my father’s job in the US military, I became addicted to travel early. To date, I’ve visited nearly 60 countries and have stepped on every contintent except Antartica. My travels inspire my writing – in fact, the original spark of the idea for LEVEL 2 grew out of an discussion with my grandmother about whether it was better to spend my money on Precious Moments figurines (her view) or plane tickets (my view).
I currently live in Frankfurt, Germany and the last foreign country I visited was Krygyzstan (Sept 2012).
- I’ve lived in 7 US states (North Dakota, Colorado, Utah, California, Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma) and 5 foreign countries (Greece, Ecuador, Spain, Japan, Germany)
- I have 3 fancy Sacred Birman cats. You can see pictures of them in cute and crazy poses on my blog.
- I wrote my first book, Timothy the Bug, in the car on a family vacation when I was in the 5th grade. In 8th grade, I made it to the state semi-finals in Ohio’s Power of the Pen competition (I placed 5th at the regional level).
- I’ve swam with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands, walked with lions in Zimbabwe, fed anteaters in Tikal, Guatemala, braved fire ants in Australia, chased a puffin across a black sand beach in Iceland and narrowly avoided stepping on a snake in Burma.