Friday, October 7, 2011

Hawthorne Hall

This is a little taste from the novel I'm currently working on. This week's Red Writing Hood prompt is all about setting, and this is a scene I just wrote. I kinda like it.


A walkway led between two old, white buildings into a wide courtyard where a large fountain gurgled and most students passed by without seeing the beautiful sculpted figures at the center. They were unrecognizable to me, but there was something in the way they rounded and glowed in the daylight that spoke peace. I’d bring Twila here later and ask her about them.

There were numbers on the buildings and Hawthorne Hall was off in a secluded corner of the quad, shaded by jacaranda trees that stubbornly clung to the last of their purple flowers. The front door opened automatically as I approached, and the rubber soles of my shoes squealed loudly on the tiled hallway as I looked for the stairs.

The second floor was carpeted, an ugly, stained, gray Berber that was probably next on a long list of renovations and updates. The offices ran along one side of the corridor, doors in need of repainting, windows covered in flyers and announcements and years old tape that had never been scraped off.

There was something in the way years of school history layered upon themselves that made me feel at home.

11 comments:

Valerie said...

I would feel at home with all of those layers of history too:) This was so nicely written, and I love the detail about the shoes squealing loudly on the tiles-excellent!!

Barbara, via Write on Edge said...

Nicely done!

Great description and excellent detail on the trees and the squeaky shoes and the the history making you feel at home.

In terms of concrit, there is something jarring about the long sentence that begins this piece: "A walkway led between two old, white buildings into a wide courtyard where a large fountain gurgled and most students passed by without seeing the beautiful sculpted figures at the center."
I think it has to do with subjects: "walkway" and "students" are doing the action here, which makes "and" an awkward conjunction for me.

Maybe even just break it into two: "A walkway led between two old, white buildings into a wide courtyard where a large fountain gurgled. Most students passed by without seeing the beautiful sculpted figures at the center."

Just a thought!

Karen said...

The layers of history on an old campus certainly draw me in and are a great setting for a tale to spin! :>

CDG said...

squeaking shoes on tile, a fascinating but overlooked fountain, a campus...

and a sense of solitary.. somethin.. amongst the academic bustle.

E.R. King said...

Good job! I agree with Barbara on your sentence structure, but you did a magnificent job of making me feel as though I was walking alongside your character. Fantastic!

Galit Breen said...

I love the feel of old campuses and adore that you shared a slice of your WIP!

Carrie said...

there is always something mysterious about old campuses rich with history. I walked the paths with you.

Lovely piece, I hope you share more of your WIP

Cheryl said...

I love old campuses, especially back East. So much character, as you captured here!

angela said...

I went to college on a lovely old campus, and I enjoy going back there so much. I am more appreciative now of the history, which made me particularly drawn to the section about the fountain.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Loved the cadence of this. How's this WIP going? Is it a book I can read somewheres?

Karen Peterson said...

Thanks, Katrina! I'm still working on it, but I'm much closer to finishing now.