Getting it right

It's good when a writer gets feedback on stories.  We know whether we're doing it right, or whether we're a little awry.  With a recent little number for the One Word Challenge over at Writers Talkback, I pushed my writing ability with a 200 word piece drawn completely from imagination alone. 

Butterflies and Beginnings is my take on the feeling of childbirth.  I could not write from experience because I've never given birth, this would rely on my writing ability to capture what it might be like.

The feedback has been amazing, that women would identify with it so personally.  It's good to know that sometimes our writing doesn't just reach out and touch people, or entertain, or move them, it makes them believe it's real.

Butterflies and Beginnings

Wave after wave, the tumultuous pull; the gravity of invisible hands tugged at her insides and ripped at her muscles.

Perspiration oozed from her gleaming skin; veins slithered beneath the surface, full with pressure.

Then, as though to break the intense fog of pain, ripples of rapture came and went like a fleeting butterfly in slow motion, drawing her into the feathery ether.

But the calm didn’t last long - the pain returned once again, clawed at her. A bright glare pressed against her eyes, blurred faces hovered over her, lips moved, yet she could barely hear herself think above her shrieks.

She felt someone’s hand on hers - a familiar touch. She saw his face, remembered who he was, but the fire raging in her abdomen made her wince; muscles contorted and instead of words, the sound of her voice echoed in her ears like a strained violin brushed by wires. 

Nearly there. Another voice, somewhere outside her haze.

Another ethereal butterfly wafted by.

It felt as though the bottom half of her body had ripped away, then the pain slowly subsided, settled.

Someone placed something against her breast.

She gazed down. Ethereal butterflies gathered around her newborn baby.


  1. I loved, loved that ending, AJ. Beautiful. You did very well capturing the pain and the 'ethereal' and surreal feeling of consciousness drifting in and out during a birth.

    I wrote about experiencing a personal death in my novel, never having dealt with one before, and just when I was in the last stages of editing, a close family member died, too young and tragically, nearly the same way as my book. I was amazed at how true most of my descriptions were, and I realized then, that that is what writers do. We put ourselves in others shoes; we want to experience it all. So the next time you hear someone say, Write what you know, tell them that they could write so much more.

  2. Thanks so much Erin.

    Indeed, the power of imagination is priceless. The greatest thing a writer could have.