Monday, 3 January 2011

Show Me Yours Blogfest


Thank you to Sarah, Hannah and Summer for hosting the Show Me Yours Blogfest, where 'the point of this blogfest is to share an excerpt of your NaNoWriMo novel. It can be any scene but try to keep it at 500 words so we can all get around to as many blogs as possible.'






In Dreaming of Sleep, Myron has travelled 2000 years into the future and there is no way back. His life has changed beyond recognition, as he is forced to spend almost every minute of his day interfacing with any number of the 91 billion souls that call Earth home. All Myron wants to do is to sleep, because then he can dream of home; a place where people live as individuals and the choices they make are simple. But sleep is illegal and the punishment for breaking the law severe. He must take his daily tablet and conform. When Myron stops taking his tablets and finally succumbs to the elixir of sleep, the beautiful and mysterious Enforcement Officer Talia enters his life.


Talia stared at Myron, assessing his rigid demeanour. Other than his voice, he was giving little away in terms of body language and facial expressions.

There was no doubting the man was handsome, with his short dark hair and moon-shaded eyes, but she had not seen many men to judge him by. Whilst others in her government assigned accommodation enjoyed the rigours of pod dating and the chance to physically interact with other humans, she found it an unwanted distraction. The Professor was the only man she had been intimate with but it was nothing more than a natural progression from the amount of time they had been spending together, and as long as it remained agreeable, she saw no harm in laying with just one man.

Myron smiled at her and Talia realised that she had been caught off-guard whilst considering his potential as a mate. It was a foolish mistake, which she would correct quickly.

“Why did you stop taking the sleep depravation medication?”

He leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms; a classic defensive action.

“Do you require me to repeat the question?”

“I wanted to sleep.”

“Sleep is illegal.”

“I’m aware of that fact.”

“It is also the law.”

“It’s not my law, at least not where . . .when I came from.”

“I agree the records show a sleep cycle was part of the normal daily function of humans in the 21st Century, but this is not the 21st Century. So, I’ll repeat the question – why did you stop taking the sleep depravation medication?”

Myron looked at Talia and then turned away. It was obvious that he was not going to tell Talia what she wanted to hear; at least not today. He had no reason to trust her. She would need to give him a reason for that.

“Having reviewed the circumstances of your arrival, and how that impacts on your decision-making process and the ability to resist the temptations of sleep, I have decided to let you go with a caution. However, I am going to recommend you for further evaluation and more extensive monitoring, and any further infractions would not be seen favourably with Province One Controllers. Is that understood?”

Myron looked up at her again and his face portrayed an expression she could not read, and she cursed herself for not spending more time studying the body language database before their meeting.

“No,” he finally uttered.

“No?”

“I can’t go back to that life. If you send me I’ll stop taking the medication. You’ll have no choice but to dispose of me.”

Talia did not know how to interpret his actions. She had met people that had sought out death as a form of escape but they constituted only a tiny fraction of the population, and it was always because they were not allowed to spend every minute of their day networked. Despite Province Controllers actively seeking to keep people locked into a productive and monitored framework, living lives that conformed and contributed to the planet’s well being, even they knew a small amount of downtime was necessary for good mental health. She was going to have to be direct with this man if she had any hope of reaching him.

“What if I told you I had a way to send you back home?”

28 comments:

  1. Interesting idea, gripping stuff. I am intrigued to know more about why sleep has been outlawed, what the punishment entail and what will happen next. :O)

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  2. A wonderful excerpt, this is such a gripping story. I love 'moon-shaded eyes'

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  3. Excellent, Ellie. I enjoyed this very much. I not only want to know what happens next, but I'd rather like to read what happens before this scene. Great writing.

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  4. Love love love the concept! I love the dialogue and even with minimal tags, I knew exactly where they were. I was able to get a clear picture of the characters in just those 500 words. I can't wait to read more! If need a beta, keep me in mind! :)

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  5. Awesome concept, and I don't normally even read sci-fi. Would love to read more of this! Not that it bothered me that much, but I noticed that the PoV in the excerpt switched back and forth between Myron and Talia a bit, and while it didn't confuse me, I understand that scenes should normally be told from just one point of view? Nevertheless, enjoying your clean style of writing.

    And a small possible typo: "She was going have to direct with this man if she had any hope of reaching him."

    Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Ooooh!!! How intriguing!!! I love the sexual tension between Myron and Talia - especially how Myron's presence makes Talia all jittery!!!

    I think it's an astonishing concept too. A world without sleep. Now that is one incredible idea to fathom.

    p.s. your wishlist is growing!!

    Take care
    x

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  7. Madeleine - thank you! I'm not at the beta-reader stage yet, but I'd be honoured if one day you might read my novel and give me some honest feedback.

    Margo - thank you! I'm only added the moon-shaded eyes today, after a final read-through.

    Tony - thank you! When I'm a little happier with it (I can't decide whether to stick to first-person viewpoint or third), I will post some more excerpts.

    Hannah Kincade - thank you! I would be honoured if you were one of my beta-readers. I'm way off that stage at the moment but I shall definitely keep you mind. Thanks again for running this blogfest.

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  8. J.C. Martin - thank you for your feedback; it is very much appreciated. I've read the excerpt back and can see how it is not always clear the scene is from Talia's POV. I predominately write in first-person POV and during nanowrimo I experimented by writing a few scenes in third-person, which was probably not a good idea! I posted a first-person excerpt for the Through the Keyhole Blogfest if you're interested. If you have any tips on sticking to POV, I'm always keen to learn. Thank you for the typo as well.

    Old Kitty - thank you! The whole 'Myron-Talia-Professor' triangle becomes a major part of the book.

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  9. at first i read "2000 years in the future" and i was all "fun! It's like futurama! I hope there's robuts!" but then i read about how sleep is illegal and i ran screaming from the room. Because sleep is awesome. Screw you 2000 year in the future earth. You can't take my sleep from me!
    In all seriousness, i LOVED this excerpt. I want to read more right now!
    Great job!

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  10. Sarah Ahiers - LOL. Thank you. I love your witty and enthusiastic take on my nano novel. They say you should have a what-if question behind every novel or story, and mine - what if is sleep was illegal? - comes from my own fascination with sleep and dreams. Ask my other half what my favourite word is and he'll say bed or sleep.

    I am also prolific dreamer. It is rare I go a night without vividly recalling a dream and I often experience something called lucid dreaming (where you are aware you are dreaming and believe you are controlling the outcome of the dream). I won't say too much but it becomes a major part of the novel.

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  11. Very interesting! Hope you'll post more at some point. Very intrigued. Nice writing job too!

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  12. Gah! No sleep! How can this be! I am so intrigued by this whole thing! Nice job :D

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  13. I love the concept of no sleep--imagine what life would be like without it! Enjoyed reading your excerpt!

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  14. This is a pretty cruel 'fest isn't it? You've left us all screaming for more! Great work! Love it! Happy New Year!

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  15. Ellie you are so badass! I loved this!!!

    PS I love the picture you have updated! It's so awesome, love the eyes!

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  16. It's very brave of you to put your work on show to the world for comment. I'm not brave enough to do that yet - though I've done no editing yet. I was determined to leave it at least a month before I looked at it again so I guess I shall be starting soon.....

    I really do want to know why a culture would outlaw sleep. I hope I get chance to read all the book eventually!

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  17. This is interesting- I'm very intrigued by the no sleeping law- I wonder how that is supposed to work...

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  18. Ooh, trippy. Almost as trippy as the header for your blog - I was lost for a few moments in the intense eyes. (;

    I couldn't possibly imagine not sleeping. Wowzers. You outlawed sleep? That is beastly. I am really intrigued - thanks for sharing.

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  19. WOW. Your new header is insane! Those eyes are crazy intense!!!!!

    Your excerpt has some really interesting ideas and good flow. I like it!

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  20. Whoa! How original! I'm hooked! Why aren't they allowed to sleep? Who's in control? 91 billion people?!!

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  21. Oh! I forgot! I'm having a giveaway! If you want, come see if there's anything you'd be interested in taking a chance at....

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  22. For what it's worth, I didn't think the POV switched from Talia at all. The concept is great. I really enjoyed how we get to see a 21st century human from a 41st (?) century woman's perspective. As Mr. Spock would say...fascinating!

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  23. Haha! I loved Sarah' comment. I love my sleep too, and I'm also a prolific dreamer and dream rememberer. I definitely wouldn't want to live in that world. I hope Myron gets to go home... :)

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  24. You're great at description, but I did find it slowed down the pace a little bit! I'd suggest breaking it up and moving it within the dialogue :) That trick always works for me! I really liked Myron for some reason. A really alluring character. Great job! Thanks for sharing :D

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  25. I love this. I love everything about it: the characters, the storyline, the fact that sleeping is illegal. Very, very good.

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  26. Rebecca T. - thank you. I can't imagine a world without sleep either.

    Colene Murphy - thank you!

    The Golden Eagle - thank you. Life without sleep wouldn't be worth living, which is how Myron feels at the start of the book.

    L'Aussie - LOL. I've felt the same after reading all the other entrants. We want more!

    Jen Daiker - thank you. You've paid me the best compliment!

    MorningAJ - it did take a lot of courage, especially as I haven't done any re-writes yet. But it's great to get feedback and constructive comments. I'm looking forward to reading yours one day!

    Summer Ross - you'll have to wait for futher excerpts and hopefully (crossing every finger) the book ;)

    nindogs - thank you. I like to throw my characters into horrific circumstances. LOL.

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  27. Melissa - thank you. As soon as I saw the header graphic I knew it was the one for me. LOL. Now I just need to find something for my mock book cover!

    The Words Crafter - thank you. You'll have to wait for further excerpts to find out more. Wicked laugh... Ooo . . .I'll be over to your shortly!

    Elizabeth Twist - thank you. I asked my other half to read the excerpt last night and he thought the same as you about the POV. It's all left me a little confused!

    Summer Frey - thank you. I wonder if all writers are prolific dreamers? I feel a blog post coming on.

    Jessica Lei - thank you for your comments. Any feedback is always welcome. The excerpt is from a much larger scene and there is quite a bit of dialogue before, but I've taken on board your comments for the re-write.

    Dan - thank you!

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  28. Very intriguing. I'm having a tough time wrapping my head around this society of Talia's but the characters are believable and engaging enough to lead me into that world a little bit at a time. I like the voices here too.

    Thanks for sharing and joining in the blogfest fun!

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