August 16, 2012

August Snippets

pinterest: the white sail's shaking
The time has rolled round once more for the fabulous Monthly Snippets meme, from Katie's Whisperings of the Pen.  For the past month I have been doing much more editing than proper writing, but as there have been some scenes that I've had to completely overhaul and rewrite, I believe I'll be able to draw together enough snippets to participate.

Also, in the process of edits for The White Sail's Shaking, I am coming to the conclusion that the story will in fact be split into two novels.  Of course this was a new and shocking idea for me, but after much agony and thought, I'm not only reconciled, but quite pleased with it.  Until I have thoughts, titles, and edits ironed out, however, the story will continue under the single title The White Sail's Shaking.  But keep an eye out for changes on that front!

august snippets

Charlie looked round when Tip swung up beside him, his disinterest warping into irritation. “What do you want?” he demanded. 

Tip’s anger was still very much present, and, what was worse, yet unvoiced; and though he knew it was unreasonable, he retorted, “What, have you taken possession of the ratlines? I think I’m free to skylark 
if I want.” 

“Skylarking is forbidden,” Charlie said, “actually.”

- the white sail's shaking 

Lewis twisted; Marta choked and turned her head as well, blinking painfully at the approaching figure. The seagulls were still reeling in a flurry of white and grey at the man’s back, and for a moment they were far clearer than he. Then she brought him into focus and saw, with a sick wrench of the knot in her throat, 
that it was Brighton.

- the white sail's shaking

The thief was on his feet; he turned sideways into an alley, pushing himself one-handed along the walls, but in a second bound Tip was on him. The coarse cloth of the man’s shirt gave in Tip’s fist with a retching sound, so he simply went deeper, digging his fingers into the back of the thief’s neck and swinging the knife around to his throat. 

“You son of a dog!” he snarled, staggering a little as the man wrenched himself about. “Stand still! Stand still, or I’ll slit your throat—your blood and not his: is that you want?”

- the white sail's shaking

"The love of the sea’s a powerful thing, but some things in life call stronger still.”

- the white sail's shaking

Some chickens, you know, are frightfully silly and will do anything to hide their eggs.  You wouldn't think it of Patsy; she seems so innocent and sweet.  But Gossamer and I held council, and decided it was best to be safe.

So today we conducted a Search.  And by Search, Father, I do not mean a bit of poking; I mean a SEARCH.  We ransacked the hen house!  Feathers flew!  Straw was overturned!  We looked in and under roosts, in cracks and crevices - nothing.  Mid-morning we abandoned the search, for Aiden said if we kept it up, none of the other hens would lay for a week.

- sunshine & gossamer

"Do you mean to say - " She could not seem to finish any of her sentences; she made a greater effort.  "You don't mean, ma'am, that you think the master of the house is - "

"A vampire?  Oh!"  Mrs. Godands sat back, letting up a string of squeals from the chair.  "Goodness, no, dear, not he.  He's as alive as I - aliver, for I'm getting up there.  No, no, not a vampire, but mightily eccentric.  I suppose all bachelors get to be just a little eccentric but he goes quite, 
quite to the edge of respectability."

- tempus regina


  1. "He goes quite, quite to the edge of respectability."

    I loved these! You ran quite the gamut of emotion with them - which I don't think I ever do, being generally melancholy and almost never droll. There ought to be a poster of Patsy in the post office, along with that thief from White Sail's... And I don't know anything much about Aiden but I want to love him anyway because...I like the name Aiden.

    "Skylarking is forbidden," Charlie said, "actually."


  2. haha! That last one did make me laugh. "Quite, quite to the edge of respectability." :P I like that woman a great deal. She's so ridiculous.

  3. Abigail, your writing is so good! But about dividing The White Sail's Shaking into two novels, I think that that is a good idea. Do you know yet your hoped-for word count for each of them? I was just curious! See, I'm doing a novel at the moment (Morning Breaks is the title), and it will have a sequel to it. But what do you call that? Is it too short to be a series? And why do people sometimes use the word "chronicles" - like for two books?? Is it instead of the word "series"?

    Thank you, Abigail! Best wishes for The White Sail's Shaking! :-)


    P.S. I hope I worded that okay, and that I don't sound like an imbecile. :-(


  4. Jenny - I like Aiden, too. And so does Sunshine, because he's a good sort, despite his prickliness. I just rewrote the White Sail's thief scene yesterday, and I had fun with it: it's always nice to have Tip beating people up.

    Rachel - She is very ridiculous indeed! Though she doesn't exaggerate: her old master is quite eccentric. He's one of those "mad scientists" types. I think Mrs. Godands sticks around in the hopes of a legacy.

    Patience - Goodness, no, you don't sound like an imbecile at all! What a silly notion! All of your questions are ones I'm having to think about now, as well. As the total wordcount of White Sail's is roughly 190,000 and the break-point (thankfully!) falls at about the middle, each novel will be 90,000-100,000 words. That's a much more manageable story for an agent or publisher to take on!

    Regarding series, etc., I actually had to look up the definition of a series; I wasn't too sure about it myself. However, using the trusty sources of Wikipedia and, "series" is defined merely as two or more books "having certain characteristics in common." They can be technically one storyline broken into several books because of size (Lord of the Rings is an example), or novels connected through characters, events, location, what-have-you. So yours and mine each qualify as a series, even though there are only two novels. Personally, "chronicles" to me carries more of an historical connotation and implies someone actually chronicling the stories. I can't set that in stone, though.

    Thank you for prompting me to research these! It's been helpful to me; I hope it clears up your questions, too.

  5. “Skylarking is forbidden,” Charlie said, “actually.”

    That is what I call true wit! I just loved it :)...well, and all the snippets actually. All of them are so full of wit, or emotion or drama or all of them mingled in a beautiful cacophony of splendor... they make me happy just to read them :).

    Oh, and it WOULD be something Sunshine would do, ransacking the hen house, wouldn't it?

    The one about the sea though would probably be my favourite... just because.

    Ah, and about breaking up White Sails' Shaking into two books... I believe it sounds like a good idea, though it must have been such a difficult decisions to come to at last! Hopefully we can discuss this better via e-mail, but in dividing the story into two books, how much of an "ending" do you need for it? (I hope this question makes sense!). What I mean is that while writing White Sails' you were probably working towards a final ending; do you now need to create a new semi ending for the first book? It is just a question, because this could be something that I might bump up into with The Crown of Life as well, seeing the potentially gigantic size of the story.

  6. You could keep it one book, a big book. I love big books. lol It would be as big as a Charles Dickens book! But what is the reason for you splitting it up into two books? I find that if it gets big enough, you could split it into three books instead of two. But I don't know, I just prefer big books over two little ones side by side with no hope of a third coming out to make it into a trilogy.
    By the way, I finished reading the Soldier's Cross a little while back! I quite enjoyed it besides the occasional threat of being sick... I tend to skim those parts. But other than that, I liked your style! I'm looking forward to seeing how the next books turn out.

  7. The readership is pretty varied on book size, Writer4Christ. Some people like big books, some like small, some don't care. But the practical side of the matter is that since both Abigail and I are looking into agents, we have to take into account the fact that an agent is going to look at the enormous word count and go "GAWK!" and probably hustle us back out the door. It isn't quite so hard with fantasy, because world-building naturally requires wordiness; with historical fiction, more strictures apply. But the more an author builds credibility and a fan-base, the more leeway he has with book size. It may very well be that toward the end of her life Abigail will write a nine-volume history of Western civilization and get it published at the drop of a hat...

    ...but I doubt it.

  8. Oh, Abigail, thank you for explaining all that! It makes perfect sense, and you described it all so nicely. And I'm glad I didn't sound like an imbecile. :-) So, we're both working on a two-book series - that's neat! :-) And I understand about the word "chronicles". Thank you again for taking the time to explain and research it all for me, and I'm glad you benefited from it as well. :-)


    P.S. I really appreciate how you answer your reader's comments! It is such a blessing, and I thank you for your time. :-)

  9. Great snippets! Really liked the one about skylarking! :)

  10. Joy - I'm fond of the sea-quote myself; it rather sums up a character's relationship with the sea. And then of course there's Charlie's sky-larking comment. He's always there to stick a needle in Tip's bubble.

    Yes, I do have to write a semi-ending for the first novel now. However, I was pleased to discover that it is already a passable breaking point, and I don't anticipate a major overhaul being necessary. (Although, of course, there is that line about the best laid plans of mice and men...) A few plot threads are, not exactly wrapped up, but tied off for the present; and Tip reaches a crisis and a decision that shape the course of the second story. So all in all, it has worked itself out quite well!

    Writer4Christ - I enjoy big books, too! As Jane Austen wrote, if a story is well written, I always find it too short. But it is necessary to keep in mind the trends in readership and the desires of agents/publishers. ...And I have to admit, I'm quite pleased with the idea of leaving readers of the first novel at a cliff-hanger!

    I'm very glad you enjoyed The Soldier's Cross. If you would like to write up a review on Amazon or some such place, I'd love to see your thoughts!

    Patience - I really enjoy interacting with all the readers here at Scribbles: it's no trouble at all for me! You're always welcome to post a question, or if it doesn't flow from a particular blog post, you can send me an email. I may not know the answer, but then we'll just get to be ignorant together!

    Tarissa - I'm glad you enjoyed them! Charlie's lines do seem to be popular...

  11. "Skylarking is forbidden," Charlie said, "actually."

    I know it has been quoted in the comment section several times already, but it's too brilliant of a line to pass over. Come to think of it, it puts me in the mind of this scene from Little Women:

    "No," said Jo, "that dozy way wouldn't suit me. I've laid in a heap of books, and I'm going to improve my shining hours reading on my perch in the old apple tree, when I'm not having l. . ."

    "Don't say 'larks'!" implored Amy, as a return snub for the "samphire" correction.

    "I'll say 'nightingales' then, with Laurie. That's proper and appropriate, since he's a warbler."

    The scene with Tip and the thief was also very well done. "Stand still! Stand still, or I'll slit your throat—your blood and not his: is that what you want?" You write dialogue so wonderfully. I am quite anxious to read White Sail's in it's entire form, and if splitting it in half will hurry the publication date, then I'm all for it. ;) Will you be keeping "The White Sail's Shaking" as the title of the first book?

    — Elizabeth Rose

  12. *its entire form, that is. I should have proof-read my comment. :P

    — ER

  13. Goodness, but it's been a long time since I read Little Women. I get depressed over the part where Beth dies, so I prefer Little Men. Why did Alcott think it a good idea to kill her off, I'd like to know?

    I am planning on keeping The White Sail's Shaking as a title of one of the books, probably the first, although of course all titles are subject to the approval of the publisher. I quite like the title, though, so I hope it sticks!

  14. Thank you, Abigail! I do know that it is nice to know that if I post a comment and/or a question here, you'll get back to me! Not all bloggers do this.

    And I will most certainly keep your email invitation in mind. :-) Thank you! Yes, we could be ignorant together. LOL!

    With love,


  15. I hope you will pardon me for not commenting the whole of august, traveling does not necessarily lead to very clear thoughts. But I really enjoyed the sunshine & gossamer snippet and the tempus regina one. The white sails ones were very well written as well!


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


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: 124,000 words

Bookmarks In...

Search This Blog