Time for the yearly ‘I’m still alive and planning something more ridiculous than ever!’ post!
I’m still alive!
I’m planning something more ridiculous than ever!
This year, I plan to write 50,000 words. In Swedish. Wish me luck!
Oh hey, you lucky, lovely reader types. Guess what I’m about to post?
Nope, you were wrong! I don’t usually do this here, but I’m going to, today. I’m going to give you an extract.
This is the opening paragraph of something I started a little while ago, and I wanted to share. Enjoy ^.^
The view from the bedroom window was of the back garden, of other back gardens, of more houses and of the palace, rising above all else in its tattered, ramshackle glory.
It felt like a view she didn’t deserve, and yet still she let her eyes greedily linger on it this morning, tea in hand, as she did every morning for the past six months.
She imagined someone stirring in the bed at her back; padding up to lay their hands on her waist, to kiss her neck and wish her a good morning, to grumble lightly about where’s my cup?
But that was, and always had been, a dream. It had not happened, and perhaps it never would.
Guess what? THIS ISN’T ANOTHER CONLANG POST! For those interested, yes work on the ConLang is ongoing, but not right here, not right now.
Guess what else? Spoils of War is officially going under the knife.
I’ve know it was in need of some heavy editing for a long time, and so for a long time I’ve been avoiding it. Because I need to take a bit off the breasts and inject it into the thighs and then create entirely new tissue for the bum and really, who can be bothered? Okay, so that was a strange metaphor. Shall we try again?
My main issue, even as I was writing SoW, was that I jumped into the action too quickly, and I hadn’t quite decided what the action was going to be. So instead of a battle with storming armies and bravery and rage, we have (literally) a limping enemy. No fun to read, no fun to write.
And then we have another problem. Boring exposition, boring conversations, moments of ‘but what? and why?’ Again, no fun. And kind of distressing because I like Spoils of War, and I have sort of big things planned for it.
So I have to do some major rewriting. The editing process has come to a bit of a halt, because I’m going to have to insert an extra chapter or two, to hold of the action that little bit longer, and to establish my world a little bit more. I will have to get round to writing those damn vignettes, which certainly isn’t as easy as I thought I would be. And I’m going to have to cut all the excess weight the story is dragging about.
~Le sigh~ The life of a surgeon. Er, I mean, an author. :S
Tres bien, merci 😀
I’ve got articles. I’ve got ideas about sentence structure. I’ve got a pronoun for pregnant women.
To that last one… it makes sense in the context of the story.
I’ve also got the building blocks of a secondary language. This secondary language is not relevant to the beginning of the story, but will be important later. My pronoun protocol is quite exciting to come up with, but I won’t bore you with that just yet.
If you’re wondering what the pronoun for a pregnant woman is (also an article in it’s own right), it is ola (pron. o-la. The a is nasalised, as in the French word ‘sans’).
I have for articles which are not gendered but which are, instead, used according to how ‘animate’ the object is. People and animals share one. Vegetation takes another. Inanimate objects take the third. The exception is ‘ola’ again. Can you have a pronoun that is an article? I don’t actually think so. OH WELL.
On another note, I feel like my twacation has made my tweets even more obnoxious. Oh well, I’m pretty sure that’s 19% of the point.
Back to the story. I have a character. She is named after the desert – Lolia (pron. lo-li-a). The ‘a’ is the ‘a’ as in ola. It is the article for living things. So she is ‘the desert person’. She’s not a main character. She’s going to die soon. An ignoble death.
So, cheery times ahead guys!!
The extract for today was difficult to choose, but I’ve settled on this one. It’s only short, but enjoy!
In the end, Nastasie had not gone through the crack in the fireplace.
She had instead, sat, and stared at it, and deliberated until her choice was made for her. With the same pained creaking noise, the – were they doors? – had slid back together, with only a draft to show that they’d ever been open, that they even existed.
And then she stood up, and, in a rather wobbly manner, made her way up to bed.
And that was all.
Two and a half hours, three thorough checks and an unexpected noseful of dust later, and Nastasie was no closer to finding any sort of clue to the mystery of her tattoo. She aimed a swift but painful kick at the fender, and the pain shocked her into sitting down. She noticed a bit of red seeping out of the crease between her big toe and the nail. Which explained the excessive pain. She rose to her feet and hobbled out of the room, calling to Fiona for a plaster.
She didn’t hear the creaking of the grate as it opened…
“What was she like?”
Kristophe Andersen shrugged. “She was small. Very small.” his face broke out into a broad grin as he recalled details of the Chosen One. “She was funny. I think I’ll have a lot of fun with this one.”
The lady opposite him – a tall lady, with white blonde hair and pale grey eyes – shook her head: in disapproval, in disappointment or in surrender; it was hard to tell.
“You are old now, Kristophe. It is time you stop playing.”
Kristophe shook his head. “You are wrong, dear cousin. It is when one stops playing that one becomes old. It is when one stops playing that death comes. That is why The Game must go on. That is why I will live forever, and you will die.”
The woman snorted in derision and turned away. “You are old and a fool. Leave, now, Kristophe.”
“As you wish, cousin dearest.”
And like that, he was gone.
It was Friday. I boarded the train like every Friday, and sat on it with headphones in like every Friday, just waiting till I could leave the city behind for those two glorious days.
The cool of the glass against my cheek and Leonard Cohen crooning in my ear helped the city fade into the past, and for a while, I slept.
I awoke with a start.
I get off at the last stop, the woman next to me was saying, and I wondered when she got there.
Would you be able to help me out when we get there?
I said yes, you always do.
Later again, Orpington, we’re almost there, she says: it’s light out.
I don’t reply; she doesn’t mind.
I haven’t told my family yet. It could be slow, and I want it to be a surprise. But I know that it’s light out.
It’s just gone noon, I say finally, and she smiles.
Noon… So bright, and so beautiful, she says.
I turn back to the glass.
It’s been a while now (Sevenoaks) twelve years. I wonder what the world is like. I wonder if it is as colourful as I remember.
She is talking again. I don’t reply, but I am listening.
How old are you? She asks, and I answer: twenty seven.
You’re older than me, she says. I’m only twenty.
From here, I say, that’s not so much of a gap. But we both know a gap is always a gap.
What colour is my shirt? She asks, suddenly.
It’s blue, and I tell her so. She nods thoughtfully.
What kind of blue?
I know the answer before I can process the question: aquamarine.
Thank you, she says.
The doctor says soon I’ll be seeings shapes too. Shadows. Not just the light.
I smile, nod. We are at our station: Tunbridge Wells.
And then full sight. Sorry, will you take me to the taxi rank? I’ll be fine from there.
It’s then I see the white stick she clutches, wonder how I didn’t see it before.
Okay, I say, feeling bad.
What is your name? She asks, as I slip her into the car.
Drew, I reply, because I don’t like Andrew.
I’m Frances, she says. Millbank. I hope I see you sometime.
Nelson Road, number thirty four, I say to her; when you can.
I get home. Ellie sits at the table, humming and tapping.
I met a girl today, I say to her. You’d like her. She said she could see light again.
Ellie’s turned towards the sound of my voice. She doesn’t quite know where I am, but she smiles.
Just a little something I wrote on the train.
Yes, I do indeed. And while I did not win NaNo last year (surprise surprise), I haven’t given up on it. To give myself a bit of a kick up the bum, I have finally made the site where I will be posting.
Allez-là to find the story’s theme poem and -hopefully in the rather near future- the story itself.