August 14, 2014

August Snippets

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Today I passed two mile markers in Wordcrafter, one in the plot, one in size: it is now 50,000 and some odd words.  (Perhaps more than mathematically so; I leave that to you to judge.)  At this point, with a new stage of the story beginning, it is probably time for me to step back and take stock of where I am and where I'm going.  And for snippets.


The car door slammed. For a moment the headlights blazed against the alarming bulwark of the Fairbairns’ shrubbery, undecided as to whether or not they wanted to switch off, and we lingered, Ethan and I, in their backwash and squinted up through the chilly middle darkness at the house.

- wordcrafter

“You struck me as a coffee person,” she announced, flinging coffee-freckles against the porcelain rim of her cup with a jerk of the spoon. “I suppose you take it black.”

“Ethan takes anything,” I interjected with a sideways grimace, “as long as it’s strong as murder.”

//

“...Lizzy can cover for Lady Macduff and Banquo. She’s very good at dying.”

“A great many people die in this play,” observed Ethan out of the hum of the harp-strings.

// 

There seems little point in commenting overmuch on the girls; they were your typical college students, eminently forgettable in company with their two older sisters. The one was ginger, the other, shockingly, brunette—only I cannot for the life of me remember now whether it was Mabel who was the brunette or whether it was Brianna.

//

The door beat against the frame and a figure joined me with the silent assurance of a witch’s familiar, come to top off my coffee out of a white carafe...

//

“I hope,” I went on, fitting the kettle spout around the rim of the faucet and turning on the tap, “I hope we didn’t do too much damage.”

“To Philip’s face, you mean? Oh, I don’t think so. Lizzy took care of all of that; I’m not much for the sight of blood. Anyhow, he deserved it.”

We were agreed on that, at least, but I did not comment.

//

I stared after her rudely, and it occurred to me with mingled admiration and bitterness that she had got the whip-hand of me once more.

“Devil,” Ethan commented, pouring himself his coffee.

 //

The smell of fresh wood burst free like the scent of an orange when the skin is peeled back: sharp and sudden in your nostrils. 

//

“Up the hill,” Ethan said, “and around behind the house. Steady…”

“Don’t criticize my driving,” I snapped, getting us out of the rut with a jolt and a surging of the engine.

11 comments:

  1. Wordcrafter! Justin and Ethan! <3 I loved them all, (perhaps gobbled them up like candy is more accurate) but I especially liked the line about college girls and this part "—only I cannot for the life of me remember now whether it was Mabel who was the brunette or whether it was Brianna."

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    1. Your constant enthusiasm is so encouraging, Leanna. I'm glad you liked these; I love Justin's struggle throughout that scene to remember which girl is which. He never succeeds.

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  2. Coffee.

    I'm reading all these while drinking coffee. Much coffee was had by all. ^_^

    These are really, really good: mature, brisk, confident, atmospheric. They put me in mind of Nine Coaches Waiting in the sheer confidence of their delivery and the overall tone of the piece. It is always tricky business telling an author she reminds you of another, but I hope you take that as a compliment. XD

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    1. I can see that Nine Coaches Waiting parallel: possibly it's the combination of first person with a more modern setting. I have noticed it's a little more casual than previous books, as I essentially just allow Justin to say what Justin wants to say. It's his story, after all.

      ...Drinking. There is so much drinking in this story. Coffee, tea, wine, beer... It's beautiful.

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  3. It's a thrilling privilege to see Wordcrafter taking shape through these snippets. Your story has a unique, sharp, coffee-and-ink flavored tone, and I can see that coming through best in this newest draft. Jamie, Justin, and Ethan makes a fabulous trio of characters.

    “Devil,” Ethan commented, pouring himself his coffee.

    And then this, too, which makes me want autumn to hurry up and make its way to the South:

    The smell of fresh wood burst free like the scent of an orange when the skin is peeled back: sharp and sudden in your nostrils.

    No rush, but just for the record, I really, really want to read this book. ^.^

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    1. Fall. I want fall. We had a pleasant day yesterday, but now we're facing a week of ninety-degree weather: the last hurrah of summer? Maybe? I've always associated Wordcrafter with autumn, and apart from that, I'm most inspired to write during the fall. I wonder what it is about autumn that makes us associate it with literature; I suppose someone somewhere has probably done a psychological study about it...

      Anyhow, I'm glad I tackled this project, and glad that you are looking forward to seeing more of it. Wordcrafter is not a fast-paced thriller and was never intended to be, but I think its relative quietness will appeal to readers who like a conversational style on occasion - and now that the narration has changed, it begins to really come into its own.

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  4. I was going to say, before you beat me to it, that I have always observed much consumption of tea and coffee in Wordcrafter snippets.

    I wasn't attracted to Wordcrafter as much as to some of your other projects at first, as the genre (contemporary fantasy, correct?) wasn't as much in my line, but these last few snippets posts have been drawing me in more and more. I really like what the first-person has done for it!

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    1. I looked up the strict definition of "contemporary fantasy," not having considered it very deeply before, and I don't think Wordcrafter fits. Wikipedia, for instance, notes that "novels in which modern characters travel into alternate worlds, and all the magical action takes place there (except for the portal required to transport them), are not considered contemporary fantasy." But you're correct that the setting in our world is modern, which is very different from what I typically write - and from what I typically read. I'm not at all surprised that it isn't everyone's cup of tea (I think you will probably enjoy the Sea Fever books most), but I am peached that the overhaul is bringing you round. And my love of history does bleed into the fantastical bits, too, so hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised even with that aspect.

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  5. These are so good, Abigail! I want to read your book!

    P.S. I love all the coffee mentioned! =)

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    1. Thank you, Emily! The enthusiasm of Scribbles' readers is always encouraging, especially when I need a spur to keep me going. And coffee. So much coffee. Whenever I publish this book I will have to do some kind of celebratory hot-beverage-related giveaway: it would be appropriate.

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  6. Coffee, coffee, coffee! I love all these references to coffee, as I love every darling little snippet for Wordcrafter you've shared with us here (You do know how much I love this story, don't you?) But would it very much shock you if I told you I've never drunk anything but decaffeinated coffee in my life before? I might indeed drink my first cup the day you publish Wordcrafter Hmm. What do you think? :)

    I love the name Mable, and I place my stakes she is the brunette, though don't ask me why. Orange peels - we've been eating lots of oranges in winter here, sharp and tangent, so I like that! Also, Ethan. Why does he have to be so loveable? I am so curious about his story and history - ooh, I can't wait!

    And the driving snippet:
    “Up the hill,” Ethan said, “and around behind the house. Steady…”
    “Don’t criticize my driving,” I snapped, getting us out of the rut with a jolt and a surging of the engine.


    Though all the snippets were wonderful, I loved that one best :).
    P.S. I have not been able to re-comment on your last post about Elizabeth I and simple complexity, but I really thought it was a good post ^_^.

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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.
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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.
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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

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