March 19, 2016

Proof of Life: March Snippets

pinterest: wordcrafter
I can't actually write to music, for the most part, even though most folks I know have a hard time writing without music in the background to drive them on.  I think maybe the music fills up too much of my brain, especially when there are lyrics to distract me.  Still, that doesn't mean I'm not often inspired to write after hearing a particular piece of music.  Then I put on headphones and listen to the song on YouTube every now and then while writing in between.  Not the most efficient means of getting words down, but reminding myself of the piece of music helps keep a mood.

All that to say that I just got my brother two "Of Monsters and Men" albums for his birthday, and after hearing a couple of their newer songs, I've been playing them on YouTube and wanting to write.  (No, I didn't keep the CDs: they did get to their destination.)  I should be studying the American Revolution or Latin vocab, but the song "Human" obliged me to pull up Wordcrafter for a few minutes.  It's getting along in fits and starts: 110,000 words in now.  And heaven help me, I don't know how long the thing's going to be in the end.

I throw up my hands in despair.

march snippets

We sat in silence, the wind sighing around us like the tide on the shore, the flames crackling and snapping hungrily among the branches. Copper’s veil fluttered; the light shot through it and I saw her lips parted in something like yearning. Ethan had his arm on my shoulder still and as the shofar-call slipped away his fingers dug at my collarbone, the blood thudding urgently in their tips, dragging me along with him into the heady expectation: the ale seemed to have mounted, to swirl around and around and around inside my dizzy skull…

//

The water from the faucet shut off; the shower was still running. He returned to the threshold, and as I raised my eyes unwillingly from the figurine it struck me, almost comically, that with his razor in his hand he looked like Death come to claim a few souls for the dance.

//

“So,” he said. “I wondered what the Hound found to like in you. Now I see you’ve got a fire in your belly after all. I suppose I should have known.”

//

The Jackal had not yet come with our horses, and while we waited for him, our backs to the light and our shadows thrown out long in front of us, Ethan spoke again.  “While we are talking of saving lives,” he said, in a voice that was mellow like his father’s, “and while my lady insists on walking alone, I would that she carried this.” He fiddled with a buckle at the inside of his right thigh and the strap of the dagger sheath swung loose, the hilt falling heavy into his palm; it was plain dull metal, a match to the one he had loaned me, and it gleamed blandly in the moonlight as he offered it to our companion. “Granted, it’s not as fashionable as a pair of pistols, but it will do you more good should you find yourself in a tight corner.”

//

A bonfire blazed in the clearing, the flames ducking and leaping like native dancers as the breeze whirled the sparks away, and in its lurid light the standing Horsemen looked like martyrs waiting to be burned.

//

He poured me a cup and handed it over, warm and dripping, and glanced at [her] from under his brows. “Care for one?” 

She watched him like a suspicious cat, her fingers tightening in the folds of the blanket, her mental tail lashing. “I’d love it,” she said sharply, “but I’m rather afraid you might poison it.” 

His mouth jerked.  “Poison isn’t my weapon of choice,” he said. “But the sentiment is there.”

//

His face was a thundercloud, and flushed as with too much wine; he was dark from dancing so near the fire and the smell of singed flesh hung over him. When I gripped his arm in mute acknowledgement I felt the muscles jumping frantically under my hand. 

“My lord dances as though he will kill himself,” [she] remarked, almost reproachfully.

January 5, 2016

She-Wolves

pinterest
First: an update!  A week or so ago, after I had spent the first chunk of my winter break preparing for Christmas, I was at last able to break the 100,000 word mark in my rewrite of Wordcrafter.  I hadn't had many opportunities to write during the semester, as usual; during the week my mind is too engaged with schoolwork, and on the weekends I just don't want to put the energy into the whole words-putting-into-sentences-doing.  (Many, many kudos to those of you who can juggle college and writing.  You are amazing.)  Thus, while I'd written a little here and there, returning to it properly was difficult.  But progress has been made and some fun things have been written, and I'm happy with what I've been able to accomplish before a) heading to a conference and b) starting the spring semester.

Increasingly as I write this novel, I've noticed that one of its more interesting and challenging aspects is that it is the first novel I've written that features a male protagonist and a female antagonist.  The Soldier's Cross has a female protagonist and a male antagonist; the Sea Fever books have a male antagonist and male and female protagonists; and Tempus Regina has a female protagonist and male and female antagonists.  So I guess having gone through just about every other permutation, a male protagonist and a female antagonist in Wordcrafter was inevitable.  All the same, it's presented some new and unexpected problems -- especially as this rewrite finds the villain darker, more aggressive, more dangerous.  In contrast, Justin, my main character, is, well, a nice guy: a hold-the-door-for-you, carry-your-bag fellow.

Playing these two characters off one another is great fun, but it's also somewhat sticky business.  Justin's personality, as well the book's potential readership, rules out certain actions and reactions between them; whereas Tip is free to punch Lewis in the face, and whereas Regina can vent her spleen by dressing down her (female) rival, there is a code of conduct which Justin is obliged to follow.  The villain, in turn, knows it and capitalizes on it.

Sharply, I said, “You can’t hit a woman, Ethan.” 
He flicked aside my concern as I had just flicked away his. “No,” he allowed, “and one often senses them taking advantage of the fact.” 
- wordcrafter

This kind of situation demands a unique relationship between protagonist and villain.  On the one hand, the female antagonist in many ways has the upper hand; her arsenal is packed with weapons Justin can't or won't deploy.  On the other, the protagonist can't be milquetoasty, doing nothing simply because the villain is a woman [because a) that makes for a boring story and b) is super annoying]; he has to find new weapons to use.  Writing in that tension is, I'm finding, quite difficult, but it also makes for some very enjoyable, thought-provoking character dynamics.

what are some of your protagonist-antagonist pairings? which ones have been especially challenging or fun?
 
 
meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
find me elsewhere
take my button

Followers

Follow by Email

published writings






The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings






Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing



Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 105,000 words

Bookmarks In...

Search This Blog

Loading...