Amanda, Amanda, Amanda

Since writing during this month is about word count, not producing a finished work, I haven’t spent a lot of time or thought on visuals to ground potential readers in the scene, I just jumped in with the character and started writing. During rewrites, I’ll go back and add the setting — it’s not a good idea to start every every scene with the character’s name (though many writers do it). Here are some of the sentences I temporarily used to open new scenes. Poor Amanda.

Amanda opened her husband’s closet and stared at his clothes, wondering if she’d ever be able to get rid of them.

Amanda pushed the grocery cart through the aisles, looking for foods that didn’t remind her of meals with David, but every time she reached for a can, bottle, or box, her stomach clenched. 

Amanda checked her emails.

Amanda went from eating nothing but yogurt to eating cookies, candy, cake, crackers, chips — anything she could grab and eat without cooking or having to sit at a table to dine.

Tired of crying, of holding the shattered pieces of herself together, Amanda hugged David’s robe-wrapped ashes one more time and climbed out of bed.

Amanda stared at her reflection in the mirror. The woman looked familiar, as if she had known her intimately long ago, but the woman seemed to have nothing to do with her todays.

Amanda felt her life, her love for David rewinding.

Amanda checked to make sure the box was empty.

Amanda woke to light seeping in from between the slats of the closed blinds.

Amanda wandered through the house, seeing not the shabby furniture, the shelves overloaded with books, the 20-inch out-of-date television, but the home she and David had created.

Frenzied with grief-induced adrenaline, Amanda yanked open the door to David’s closet and slammed his underwear into a garbage bag.