Rubys notes chapter 1 draft – thoughts?


This is indeed the draft copy to chapter one… Needs lots of work – things to add aswell, I wrote this along time ago and thought it was about time to get some critique good and bad. Sorry about the awkward paragraphing, I did this on my phone.
P.s I am aware of the grammatical errors. This is just a rough draft and does need work.

June 28th 8:40pm. 1993

It was the 90’s and I was fresh out of law school and I had already got my first job offer. I was desperate so I went for it not knowing quite what I was getting myself into. We had planned to meet at 9am the next day to discuss what the job offers the only problem was that I did not know who I was meeting and why.

That night I had a group date with my best friends Sandra and Chloe. They had been my friends since we were in law school. Sandra was a girl of status in the law industry as her dad was a lawyer, she was tall, tanned, had dark hair and dark eyes.

Sandra was really skinny and everything about her screamed sexy. She got all the guys even though she turned them all down.

Now Chloe on the other hand was the complete opposite. Chloe had long blond hair with colors running through it, pinks, purples, blues and oranges. She was short, maybe 5’2 and she was very socially awkward.
See when Chloe was younger she really wanted to be a hairdresser but her mum forced her into attending law school. Chloe didn’t want to upset her mother so she used her talents with hair as a side business as a way to make some extra cash.

As the night progressed I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being watched. You know the type of feeling you get when you think there is someone who just won’t stop staring at you? The hairs on the back of your neck stand up and cold shivers run down your spine as if someone ‘had just walked over your grave’ as they say. That’s the feeling I had now, so I decided to call it a night with my friends and walk home.

As I was walking I started to feel dizzy, queasy even… did I really drink that much? A few minutes passed by and I couldn’t bring myself to walk any further. I hailed the first cab I saw and jumped in. My house was about a 10 minute walk away from our favorite hangout but I just couldn’t bear to walk any longer. The taxi drive made me feel worse. I wasn’t even sure if I was even in a taxi anymore and I just passed out.

June 29th 9:40am
Suddenly I woke up. I didn’t know where I was and my vision was as blurry as my memory was foggy.
My face was wet. I could tell it wasn’t sweat that had drenched my face and I soon discovered it was blood as I touched my forehead to find a deep wound gaping open inviting bacteria and disease into it.

“Where am I?” is all I could think as the pain from my wound radiated throughout my head.
I had a look around after my vision had come back to me. All I could see were photos of Sandra everywhere, Sandra in her car, Sandra in the court room and pretty much her whole life right in front of me.

Suddenly a swift not so delicate closed fist met with my face and believe me did it hurt. I didn’t see who was hitting me repeatedly. All I could hear was a recording in the background and it didn’t sound like anything I had ever heard before. It was a mixture between white noise and violence mixed with some classical and calming music – which didn’t make any sense given the situation that I had been put in.

“Where is she?” I heard in the background repeatedly, I recognised that voice but who was it? The voice got louder and louder and I started to get all my senses back and then I saw it.
I didn’t know exactly what it was; all I know is that it scared the hell out of me. This thing that had me locked in this room like a stalker turned murderous. By now I had my sense of smell back and the smell of this thing was not pretty at all. It smelt like I was lying in a cesspool filled with rotting carcases of animals and humans alike. I heard that voice again but this time it was screaming for its life.

I tried to stand up but this thing had me pinned to the ground with its tentacle’s. I felt my heart beating faster.

A person walked up to me “it’s alright let her go” a dark husky voice yelled and immediately I was let go. I stood up to take a better look around but before I could take a step I felt this burning sensation in my legs and I immediately dropped to the ground. I had fainted from the pain.

June 30th 3:07pm
This was the day that changed my life forever. It changed my identity and who I used to be.

I woke up in the hospital, nurses rushing around and kids running in and out of wards. Everyone kept calling me ruby. I didn’t remember my real name but only what had happened over the past couple days. I made note to not let anyone know what I had seen; even though I didn’t really know what I had seen.  When I woke up I was given a bag that was supposed to be mine containing my belongings… but I didn’t recognise any of them. 

The bag contained a birth certificate to a woman named Ruby Kensington, a fresh out of teacher college degree in a folder filled with resumes, a keychain with a key attached to a note, what looked like car keys and a purse with a photo ID with my picture and the name Ruby Kensington.

As soon as the nurse’s left me alone all I could think about was the note that was attached to the keys. Without hesitation I reached into the bag, just as a child would dig through its party bag full of treats, eager to locate the best piece of candy and eat it in one huge bite without hesitation. I quickly located what I was looking for, that note… the one that has been haunting my every thought for the past hour. ‘Should I really be so hesitant to read this note?’ I thought to myself.
All I knew was that I was apparently Ruby and that this note belongs to me. I procrastinated for a little, avoiding the inevitable by looking over my newly acquired qualifications and identity “Who are you Ruby?” I thought to myself while closely examining my license. “Do I even know how to drive?” I thought but quickly made the decision that I would know soon enough.

After closely examining all the belongings in my bag over and over again I decided it was time… The dreaded note, I sighed. Why was it so hard to just open this small piece of paper and read however many words are on it? I didn’t know.
Finally without a thought I just opened it, swiftly as is I was ripping a band aid off my arm, I closed my eyes for a minute just to take a breath and then I opened them again. I began to read. The note read ‘all the answers you seek are at the house.’ But what could that mean? What house? Frustrated I crumpled up the piece of paper and threw it across the room “Score!” I shouted as it had landed in the bin. Fed up with all the unanswered questions I decided to have a shower as I suddenly felt dirty.

I managed to get a nap in after my shower before I was woken up so abruptly by the nurse. “Ma’am is everything alright?” The nurse said to me. “Yes, sorry you just startled me” I quickly replied. For some reason the nurse looked very familiar to me, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Even the smell that consumed the room in her presence was familiar but then again I didn’t even know who I was so how could I know this stranger? She was just a nurse… right?
“Everything seems to be alright, you can go home now” The nurse said interrupting my train of thought. “Oh thank you” I replied, the nurse left the room and I collected my belonging and discharge papers.

After I was discharged I walked out into the parking lot to try and find this mysterious car that I had never seen in my life. But there was no car here. I looked around and there was a payphone and surely this purse I was carrying would contain some money to make a call.
I slowly walked up to the payphone as I was still a bit lethargic from being stuck in that hospital. The payphone from a far looked pretty clean but as I approached it I was learning my lesson. Nothing is ever what it seems… The smell of the payphone varied between dead animal and urine, it definitely was not pleasant and I did not picture my day to go like this.
“Why me?” is really all I could think right about now while coming to the realization that yes, there was a payphone here and yes I did have some change to make a call but I don’t know who to call or where to go. I was suddenly lost in my thoughts, I mean if anybody saw me right now they would probably think I was crazy, just standing here consumed by my own wandering mind but there was a sound in the back of my mind that just wouldn’t go away. Then it dawned on me and quickly I snapped out of it.

The sound in the back of my mind was actually the constant ring of this payphone “how long had I been standing there consumed in my thoughts and why is this phone ringing?” thinking to myself, I just stood there – staring at this phone and its constant ring “Why is it still ringing?” I thought, hesitant I decided to answer it.
“Hel…” I started to say by was quickly cut off “Go home Ruby.” The stranger said, the voice was so muffled I couldn’t tell if it was a man or woman who had just told me, well, Ruby to go home. “But I…” I proceeded to reply but by that time the person on the phone had already hung up.
I quickly moved away from the pay phone as I just could not stand the smell anymore it was horrid. I decided pacing the car park again would be the best idea for me right now; surely I look like a crazy woman now – answering random pay phone calls and constant pacing of this deserted car park. 
I am not sure how much time I had just wasted trying to figure out how I was going to make my way to my ‘so called home’ but man did it feel like forever. ‘Maybe this is what it feels like to be alone, who am I kidding, I am alone and in a car park and why am I in a car park… ugh maybe I should try and hitch hike… wait does that even work these days… shit what is the date?’ thoughts were racing through my head, one after another and by this point I was just confusing myself so I decided to just sit down and take a breath.

Just as I sat down and made myself comfortable a car pulled into the car park.  The car was black; the sun light reflected off it and stung my eyes. When the black car pulled up in front of me it my imagination run wild. I began to imagine I was secretly a spy in an action movie about to embark on a dangerous mission. The car door opened and I jumped in without thinking. The doors locked behind me and I snapped out of it.
Suddenly all I saw was the inside of a boring black car. “How could I have let my imagination get the better of my judgement?” I wondered. The car started to move and immediately I started to panic, “where are we going” I thought as flashes of memories began to cloud my vision, I couldn’t see the driver but they could obviously see me. A hand appeared out of a little slot in the tinted glass that was shadowing the driver. The hand held a paper bag and a note was stuck to it “again with the notes?” I thought to myself. I had decided to just go ahead and read it straight away, what did I have to lose? I was already in a strange car, received a strange phone call and had woken up in a strange hospital with a strangely familiar nurse. So what did I have to lose on another piece of paper?

‘Don’t panic you’re safe now’

7 thoughts on “Rubys notes chapter 1 draft – thoughts?

  1. Hey! By placing this draft onto WordPress you are officially allowing others to critique your work, right? I don’t know if this will make you feel better, but I have worked professionally as an editor in the past. At the moment I proof and edit work for the Melbourne Poets Union. I’m not saying I’m a better editor than others who may not have worked in the field – I just want to make it clear that any of my following comments are going to be as professional as I am able to make them, and are not personal, bias or designed to be intimidating or hurtful.
    You mentioned that you are aware you need to add additional grammatical connotations to the work, so I will not make any references to such aspects of the written piece.
    The fact that you are willing to post material of your own onto the internet I believe is quite bold and perhaps even brave – I do hope you have legally secured your work!
    Okay, my comments, which I made in the order that I read your text…
    -The word ‘got’ is not considered good grammar. ‘Gotten’ is even worse. True, it is a colloquialism, and thus is used in verbal communication by people within society, but editors and publishers often believe it looks horrible in written texts. Some believe the word is slang rather than an actual word.
    -The word ‘get’ is adjunctively sometimes filed under the same category as ‘got’, FYI.
    -Sometimes a comma can be replaced with a semi-colon. Often this would be necessary if one had written long sentences or was trying to separate ideas. Your sentences are nice, short and rather symmetrical in size, however, a semi-colon can still on occasion be useful, although I know editors who would disagree. This is something that is simply up to the interpretation of those involved in the text’s creation.
    -Careful with tenses; do not stray into present tense if you are using past, vice versa. Sometimes there is an alternative when using different tenses in the same paragraph, but most often the rule is always the same – stick with one tense.
    -‘Been’ and ‘being’. I still have issues with this and I’m meant to be somewhat professional at editing, so don’t worry so much about this – it’s an incredibly easy mistake to make.
    -Liked the part about inviting bacteria and disease into the wound – quite original – and very morbid!
    -Repetition of the same word in one sentence is often considered bad grammar. True, on occasion there are only so many words that can be used to describe something, but still, this rule applies. It doesn’t apply to words the likes of ‘the’, ‘she’, ‘he’, ‘I’ and other such words which are used often though. Example of repetition in your piece might include; ‘smell’, ‘without hesitation’.
    -The standard model for lines of new dialogue from other characters requires that they belong on separate lines rather than continuing on from a sentence which included another individual’s transcript.
    -‘Lethargic’ – I love big words! Very good description!
    I really liked the way the piece was colloquially written, and how Ruby’s ideas, thoughts and imaginative ideologies were often becoming a part of the text as to allow the reader the ability to grasp how the lead protagonist was feeling at that exact moment. At present, the piece reads a lot more like a short story, which is not a negative point FYI, just an observation. The many occurrences which take place inevitably result in making very little sense, which is again a positive note, for it is great to lure in your readership with suspense and secrecy until the very last word of the text has reached their lips.
    So far this is a very good effort. Good luck in your literary endeavours.
    Also, I apologise if this reads like the notes a teacher might make to a student. I have funnily enough corrected the work of students in the past and more often than not whenever I edit other work I revert back to the way I write in those circumstances.
    Take care, and keep writing!

    • This is the exact kind of critique i am looking for. i have the chapter 2 draft here as well – if you would like me to personally email it for you to have a look – just email me if you do. my email is britnybboxall@gmail.com

      I will point out you mentioned the ‘got’
      I realized after you mentioned that, I have and edited copy on my broken laptop – I have no access to it so Ive had to backtrack to this copy.

      Also i had to upload this from my phone, so the paragraphing is not how i originally wrote it. But i can fix that tomorrow and edit into my post that i fixed it.
      :) I have the legal stuff sorted as well.

      I need the harsh critique, otherwise how will i be able to improve?

  2. I think you must be a really good writer (or have a coherent powerful idea which almost amounts to the same thing) because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have read it.

    Incidentally, a long time ago I once woke up with total amnesia. I remember thinking to myself “OK, then. If I can remember one thing I can remember everything.” And it took me a while to remember something. Maybe 20 seconds, maybe 20 minutes, I don’t know. Time wasn’t very relevant just then.

    • Thank you, I am glad you read it and hopefully liked it :)

      I cannot imagine what it is like to actually have amnesia – I read once that to write a good story you should always research what you are writing about. So thank you for sharing that with me.

  3. I don’t have a facebook account so I wouldn’t be able to follow up on your draft work all the time. All I can say is that you describe the emotions and thoughts of your character having possible amnesia due to probable head injury rather than an alcoholic hangover quite well in my opinion. To get your reader’s attention, one has to connect to their mind and hearts. This I feel is the most important. Good grammar is important for sure but if you don’t get your reader’s eye, it’s just not fulfilling as a writer. I’m not a professional writer or editor so I leave the grammar critique to others. Still, I think that your grammar’s ok. Just don’t go too Shakesperean in grammar. I or perhaps others might not understand you. Great start. Keep it up!

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