List the first five (or so) lines of your last 20 stories (or however many you have altogether. WIPs count). See if there are any patterns.Wrap The Cloak Of Night Around His Shoulders (Dracula (1968), for Yuletide, Teen)
The sound of hooves against the ground gradually changed into the clop of cobblestone being struck as the carriage reached its destination. Mina Harker had arrived as Lucy Weston was in need, despite the lateness of the hour. She had felt concern upon overhearing the instructions of earlier to keep her friend’s room closed up. Such a prescription was odd, as had been the words of Dr. John Seward and Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
Let The Shadows Become Your Shroud (Crimson Peak (2015), for Yuletide, Mature)
Blood dripped from cold numbed fingers, leaving a trail between freshly falling snow and a house of horrors.
Edith Cushing and Alan McMichael had survived a living hell within the wretched walls of Allerdale Hall. They had reached the gates, covered in blood and snow and an assortment of clay and mud; fighting through their pain and fresh wounds; fearing the unknown and a likely death that stretched in the snow beyond.
While they were now dressed for the cold, they were still freezing…still wounded…still uncertain of their ability to survive until they reached a village. Her shoes were missing, and she dreaded the touch of frostbite…of more loss. It was half a day’s walk through these dangerous conditions, just to reach a village. Alan was still bleeding.
Give Your Soul To The Night (Fright Night (1985), for Yuletide, Teen)
Jerry Dandrige ran one sharp nail along the banister as he stalked out of the shadows. Deep scratch marks were created in their wake, with thin trails of wood falling to the floor. Unnoticed. Forgotten. As Jerry gazed down at the intruders in his home, he smiled.
Blood Begets A Curse Anew (Legend (1985), for Yuletide, Mature)
Haunting neighs echoed around the cavern as the last unicorn was dragged closer to the stone altar. Lili’s blade, brought to her by Darkness for this ritual, would end the life of this unicorn. What had begun as a fight for her own survival had escalated all too quickly into a struggle for the very future of the world, and it was all she could do to keep her head above the horror. So she went through the motions, doing exactly as Darkness desired. While her original intention was to stall with misdirection until help could come, now she understood. That was foolish. Jack would never know where she was, and she should not be naïve.
Santacide Is Coming To Town (Pushing Daisies, Yuletide, Teen)
At the age of five and a half years, four weeks, twenty-four days, fifteen hours, and thirty-six minutes old, the future Pie Maker and all around soon to be raiser of the dead stopped believing in the myth of old Saint Nick. Even before the dreadfully desolate Longborough School For Boys, he learned the lesson. He knew that stockings, while indeed hung by the chimney with care, would not be filled by a fictional creation of parents the world over. Perhaps billions of parents bent on keeping a story going, but not that creation.
And jumping over to WIP’s, there are two. One for Crimson Peak/Dark Shadows (1991) that appears to be mostly dead for now. It would have been for the Into A Bar ficathon early last year, before real life and other things derailed it. So from Pawn of the Witch (which was a temporary title):
Sometimes Edith wondered if the skeleton of Allerdale Hall had rotted the rest of the way, and collapsed into the clay just yet. In those moments, she found herself picking up a pen and trying to find the right words that would put her mind at ease. All she needed to do was send a letter to sweet old Finlay, and he could dispel the mystery. She always found that she couldn’t. The pen was put down. She wanted to remember it as it was, tall, and morbid, and straining to hold itself together.
The second WIP is Dracula (1968), which seems to have taken on a life of its own. It would be the one where set post-film, where Mina is not fully herself for a bit, and briefly has the ring before other supernatural shenanigans go down. I wrote snippets at a time, and then wrote a rather long outline for how it should be pieced together. It’s 205 pages for the notes/snippets document as of now; it takes a bit to find everything and then piece it together into a separate file. Not all of that will go into the story.
So for now, unless another bit (which is likely, but currently lost in those 205 pages) with Jonathan goes into the start of it instead as a prologue, here’s the beginning. There are about six or more potential titles (which I’m trying not to have be quite so long this time).
Count Dracula was dead.
He was dead, and while the dust slowly blew away from a stray breeze, a small but insistent part of Mina wished he would come back. He could guide her, as he had when she had just seen Lucy. It almost desired to be as he was. As Mina Harker’s gaze slowly moved to stare at John Seward’s throat, she struggled to control her breathing.
She was herself. She was. If she were a vampire, then she should have perished with the man himself as the sun rose. His curse should have evaporated with the dawn of a new day. She clasped the ring tighter, and pondered what she was. The jewel in its setting was cool against her skin. It was sharp, and could draw blood if she let it; she forced her thoughts to turn from that. She wondered what she should do. She was at a crossroads, and she knew it quite well.