Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Novel Intro - Rough Copy

We walk among you, but you barely notice us. We look like you; if we want to, we can sound and act like you do. As far as you’re concerned, we don’t exist.
Except we do. And no matter what games of pretend we play, we’re not like you.
We barely even live in the same world as you do. Not the way you see it, anyway.
We’re all different, just so you know. I’m not going to generalise and say we all have the same superpowers, or even that we all have superpowers.  Each of us lives in our own world, with our own limitations, our own greatnesses. And two worlds can be similar, but we really are the unique snowflakes that you aren’t.
No, that’s cruel. You guys are individuals too, but… the same. You all live in the same world, this world that we can see and interact with but aren’t really a part of. I shouldn’t generalise you anymore than I should generalise us. After all, I’ve only pretended to be one of you, thought I was one of you. I never actually was one of you.
Some of us have superior hearing, eyesight, sense of smell – all to the point of distraction because how can you focus on one conversation in a room where you can hear fifty, or look at one person when you can see the air currents swirling around them? Some of us have amazing memories – but just because you can store all that data doesn’t mean you can find the file it’s hidden in. For each of our strengths we have a weakness or three. And for each of us it’s a different mix.
You accuse us – when you even recognise us at all – of being robotic, inhuman. But that is far from the truth. We feel things so intensely that we try not to feel them at all – because this is your world and not really ours, we weren’t taught how to cope with emotions in a way that we understand.
We’re not so inhuman, we’re just different…
We’re autistic.


  1. This is an interesting concept, to take the oft discussed way in which we are different, like a fish out of water, to continue your maritime theme.

    You have stated it clearly and have included all the major points about how one of us on the Autism Spectrum feels out of place, as if we have landed ion the wrong world ...

    BUT you are using this as the Introduction for a Novel and there is the problem.

    It is not so important to give a balanced and well thought out argument as it is to have impact, something that will make your readers want to find out more.

    I would suggest, merely as one suggestion of the sort of thing one may do, yes, suggest that you rewrite it, put it in the first person - how 'I' feel, the challenges 'I' have.

    Try rewriting it as a very strong personal description of just how alone and out of place you feel, how you can feel and seem invisible, how people gloss over your presence with assumptions.

    It is the very start of your book and you need to leap off the page and hit the reader in the face with your Mermaid's tail!

    Present them with your impossible situation and make them care! Make them need to find an answer!

    It is not the introduction to a scientific paper but the cry for help and understanding from someone in turmoil!

    At least those are my thoughts!

  2. I really like it how it is. I think it works really well for the genre, and I think if you start off with a lot of 'how I feel' details that would be too much telling; you need to convey that in little pieces throughout the novel. I could imagine it being before the first chapter, not exactly a prologue, but just a paragraph sort of set aside from the rest of the novel (I do that a lot, the novel I'm working on has a prologue and a pre-prologue). I think it would make readers go back and read it again once they realised it was about autism, not vampires.

    1. hehe... you're comment came through while I was writing the last one, so it looks kind of like I'm ignoring you - sorry. That's exactly how I im,agined this part - not really a prologue or a chapter but a sort of into. That's why I feel that I can just leave a page or two blank and jump into the writing of the rest of it.

  3. Thank you for your comment, John Makin. That is all something to take into consideration - as you said it needs to make a splash and make people want to keep reading.

    Um... The main "point", I guess, of this intro is to "fake out" the reader and make them think at first that it's talking about a different species. My genre is paranormal romance (meaning, the thing I write the most, and read the most... at the very least a mini-obsession) and... Yeah.

    I'm having trouble explaining myself. I would like to blame mornings, or Fridays, but that's not a good idea since I still have one more day of work to go after today.

    In general, my main characters always take on a major aspect of me. Last year, while my hand was in a splint, I had the hardest time convincing my Emjay that she didn't need to have her hand in a splint. But, considering the fact that I don't think there are all that many aspergian paranormal romances out there, I think that my main character taking on this trait of mine might have found me a niche.

    Granted it's a niche that might not be too welcome out there but it is a niche that I want to at the very least explore with my writing.

    And I'm currently thinking (since I'm having so much trouble with the intro and deciding that I can't use what I wanted to use for my first chapter) that I need to jump in the deep end rather than trying to stick my toe in and get adjusted to the temperature. Just leave a couple of pages blank for the intro and start writing.

  4. i can see what you mean about wanting to "fake out" readers but from the beginning i already knew you were talking about autism, so it's too hard for me to judge if that would get your desired effect. if i was expecting vampires, then i think i would have liked this intro a lot more.

    for me personally, the "we" does not draw me in. We can make me feel like i am part of the "we" in question, which then makes me feel defensive because- who is this person and why are they speaking for me?

    Or it can make me clearly feel excluded, as this did when it started to say "you," making it clear that the reader was a "you" who could not possibly understand the fabulousness of "we."

    it makes me feel like, wow, this person is judging me and they don't even know me. if they already think i'm dumb or boring, then that makes me not very interested in what they have to say. so that was a little off putting for me. i think i would be more engaged if you were speaking as an "i" instead of a "we."

    i personally have a huge issue with pronouns. when i write things, i also tend to naturally write things as- you this and you that. i is a lot harder for me, less natural. i say you when i mean you and i say you when i mean i.

    1. If it's any help, the intention is that this novel will be marketed as paranormal romance.

      Also I'm wondering if this is just a personal issue you have with pronouns, as I never have that sort of issue...

      Damnit, am I going to have to start every possible novel excerpt blog post with a "this is a vampire novel" disclaimer?