The Sting of Antiseptic – WIPpet Wednesday

I’m afraid there’s no sweltering Greek sunshine or salty sea air in this week’s WIPpet offering. Instead, for the 29th May I give you two paragraphs from chapter nine of The Butterfly Storm. In this extract Sophie has come back to England for the first time in four years after learning that her mum has been involved in an accident. Sophie’s arrived at the hospital in Norwich and is trying to find the ward her mum is on.


Gathered next to the lifts is a lady in a wheelchair with a nurse, and parents with a gaggle of kids. I take the stairs instead. I reach the third floor and the receptionist’s directions become meaningless. At least the Paediatric ward is cheerful; the bare walls reserved for the rest of the hospital are splashed with colour from children’s drawings and the curtains framing the ward windows are filled with smiling yellow bears.

I backtrack past nurses in pink uniforms and blue scrubs, bashing through doors. Serious faces rush past me and I nearly collide with a trolley. My nostrils tickle from the sting of antiseptic. My trainers join a chorus of other shoes in a rhythmic squeak down a corridor, shiny and identical to the last one. Grey polished floors and stark white walls are only punctuated with occasional swing doors.

There are now just two weeks until The Butterfly Storm is published and it is officially no longer a work in progress! That makes me think that I’d better actually start writing my new WIP, The House of Stone before I run out of suitable extracts from Time Shifters to post on Wednesdays.

If you’d like a slice of WIPpet love then choose an extract of your WIP that corresponds to the day – for example for the 29th May I could have chosen 29 lines from page two or nine, or even chapter 29 – then head over to author K L Schwengel’s blog and add the link of your post to the linky. Make sure you read the fabulous offerings from the other WIPpeteers whilst you’re there.


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  1. Great descriptions, Kate! I can really feel the busy-ness of the hospital and Sophie’s restlessness/hopelessness in the situation. I’m really excited to read the whole thing when it comes out! I guess I should hurry up at finish Kathi’s First of her Kind before then so I’m not getting my WIPpeteer novels confused. 😀

    • It’s so exciting isn’t it, to be able to read fellow WIPpeteer’s actual published novels. I’m reading Alana’s at the moment and have Kathi’s lined up. I’m looking forward to when you, Elaine, Raewyn etc. all publish yours too. :-)

  2. Two weeks! Very exciting! Great WIPpet too – I felt like I was there. Brought back memories of getting lost in Wellington hospital (aren’t hospitals the same almost everywhere)…

  3. I love how you describe the hospital. I did a creative writing project once for a class in the hospital, just sitting and recording what I saw. They are amazing places because they are full of so many people from all walks of life going through so many various things. I smiled about the peds floor. We certainly spent our fair share of time in the peds floor with Silas, so it was neat that you pointed out how cheerfully it’s decorated

    • I agree, hospitals can be great places for inspiration and for people watching. I didn’t have to spend anywhere near as much time in hospital when I was a kid as I imagine Silas has but my heart op when I was seven was one of the most memorable times of my childhood (and not actually in a bad way as I was too young to understand the enormity of it and so thought of it as an adventure).

  4. That second paragraph really conveys her feeling of disorientation. I get an “I’m the only one who doesn’t know where she’s going” impression.

  5. This is such a great excerpt Kate. I love the attention to detail; the way antiseptic stings Sophie’s nostrils and the never ending identical corridors. Great stuff!

  6. Great descriptive scene, Kate! I can really see the hospital.

    And congrats on publishing your book! That’s so exciting. :)

  7. Hall after hall, trolley after trolley after… Hospital halls seem endless. I totally feel Sohpie’s disorientation here.

  8. Congrats on the impending publication! Very exciting time. And super excerpt. I hate hospitals and this sure nails one of the reasons. I love that you’re engaging all the senses as well. It really immerses us in the scene and her discomfort and growing agitation.

    • Thanks Kathi. Weirdly I don’t mind hospitals despite having unfortunate enough to have been in them quite a lot, but Sophie is certainly uncomfortable being there so I’m glad that comes across.

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