#WIPpet Wednesday, #ROW80 and #StoryADayMay, oh my!

Random Fact: the first comment on this post will be the 550th on this blog. That’s rather exciting.
wippetwednesdayIt’s the first of the month and I feel like being evil today, so here’s a completely contextless sentence from A More Complicated Fairytale for your, uh, enjoyment? 😛

The further through [Felipe] read, the more his brow furrowed, until his expression was darker than Cait had ever seen it before.

Please feel free to join in! All you need to do is post an excerpt from a WIP you’re currently working on, which somehow correlates to the day’s date (so one sentence for the first, for example, though paragraphs, lines, sentences or excerpts of any length from the relevantly-numbered chapter are also welcome). Then hop on over to the linky and join in! Once again, many thanks to K. L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for hosting.

row80As for my ROW80 and other such writing goals, a bulleted list is probably the best way to go about this. These are the things I want to achieve for the coming month and beyond. For the last few days writing has happened in dribs and drabs, but hopefully I’ll pick up from today.

  • Figure out what I’m going to write for the Australian Literature Review’s  May Short Story competition. One of my writer’s group friends was shortlisted for the April competition, which is so very cool! And raises the bar for the rest of us. She was actually really surprised because she finished it about ten minutes before the deadline and had no time for polishing.
  • Write that.
  • Participate in A Story A Day In May. I may be setting myself up for dismal failure here, but we’ll see. I figure if I get some of the ideas rolling around in my head out of my system with a flash fic or two, then I won’t want to turn them into more WIPs. I emailed the link to the website for this to my writer’s group and a few of us are going to attempt it, so it should be fun. I’m yet to decide whether I’m going to post my stories every day or every few days, but either way, see below for today’s kick-off story.
  • Write a proper outline for Operation: Sugarplum.
  • Finish the outline for Friends with the Enemy/Making Friends of Enemies/whatever I end up deciding to call it. This plot has been in my head for a bit over a year (I remember getting excited about it on this blog when the ideas first started coming to me), and I attempted writing it for Camp NaNoWriMo in June 2012, but failed dismally on account of various circumstances (didn’t have a computer for the first two weeks, still had gaps in the plot, etc). I reworked the entire setting, characters and everything in the few months after this, but still struggled when I actually sat down to write it. There were still gaps in the plot, and my setting, while clear in my head, is tricky to establish in writing. However, yesterday, I accidentally ended up reading some of the notes I still have saved for it on my iPod (I was struck with inspiration during an off-moment at a choir rehearsal, and that was all I had to write on), and I suddenly had the urge to get back to it. Or at least figure out the issues with it. So we’ll see about that one.

Also as of today, I am borrowing Lisa’s idea of setting a word count to aim for each month, and having the meter in the sidebar to keep my progress updated. I keep pretty detailed wordcount spreadsheets for my WIPs, but I want to be able to count other writing (such as any fanfiction, or writing for such things as aforementioned competition and Story A Day) towards my goals as well. This seemed to be a good way of managing it. I’m only going to go for 15000 words per month, which is about 500 words a day, roughly. Little bit less than that on months that have 31 days. Sometimes I will probably write more, sometimes less, which is why I like a monthly word count goal rather than a daily one.

And now, onto the first of my stories for A Story A Day In May! This story was partially inspired by this rant I had a few posts ago and partially by Ewan McGregor’s character in Jack the Giant Slayer (he shoulda got to marry the princess, dammit!) and then about halfway through writing I think it turned into backstory for a character in AMCF. I say, ‘character’, there will probably only be mention of him. But I have a tendency to do that. There is a playlist on my iPod for a couple in Friends with the Enemy whose story is only relevant to the plot in that it serves as a bit of a warning to the main characters. Do I have a playlist for the main characters? Nope! But anyway, that is not relevant to this. Moving on! Here is my story for May 1, in all it’s just-finished, unpolished glory.

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“Your Majesty.”
“Sir Aidan.”

The Knight dropped to one knee in front of his master.

“Sire, I seek your permission to leave the court.”

“Do you mean forever?”

“Yes, Sire.”

“What has brought this on?”

“Ever since I came to your court, you have tasked me with protecting your daughter, Princess Maria.”

“A task you have always performed admirably.”

“Thank you, Sire. But the reason I have always endeavoured to perform this task beyond anyone’s expectations is exactly the reason I must leave. Sire, I have fallen in love with your daughter.”

He saw the King sit up straighter at this declaration, and dropped his gaze to the floor. “How long has this been the case?”

“Longer than I care to say, your Majesty.”

“And does my daughter know of this?”

“Of course not, Sire.”

There was a pause before the King said, “Good . You know there is no possibility of anything ever coming of this?”

“Of course. That is why I must leave. I know that the princess will soon be of marriageable age, and that she will marry a Prince or at least a nobleman. I am neither of those things, but I could not bear to watch.”

There was a long silence. Sir Aidan could feel the King’s eyes on him but he did not look up again. Finally, the King said, “Sir Aidan, you are relieved of your duties as a Knight in my court. You will leave before dawn tomorrow.”

Sir Aidan stood and bowed. Thanking the King for relieving him from his position seemed odd, so he simply left in silence.

He had few possessions, so it did not take him long to pack. He said few goodbyes and slipped out of his quarters a little after midnight. The grounds of the castle were deserted so he was not seen by anyone. At least, not until a hooded figure stepped out in front of him at the gate. He still had his sword and his hand went to its hilt by second-nature until the figure lowered the hood and he realized it was the Princess standing in front of him.

“Thought you’d leave without saying goodbye?”

“I…” In the past, Sir Aidan would always have had some quip to respond to the princess with. He hadn’t thought he would need one as he was leaving, though.

Princess Maria smiled gently at his lack of response and he swallowed. This was exactly the reason he had wanted to leave without seeing her again; she had such an effect on him seeing her might have caused him to turn around and go back to the King and request to be reinstated.

“I heard your conversation with my father.”

Aidan’s stomach dropped. That had not been part of the plan at all. He didn’t know what to say. Thankfully, the Princess continued to fill in the silence.

“I understand why you want to go. But I will miss you, Aidan.”

“If you overheard my words to your father, I suppose it will come as no surprise that I will miss you, too.”

“Where will you go?”

Aidan shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“Well… good luck.” And then she did something he definitely wasn’t expecting, and leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. She met his eyes for a moment more, then slipped her hood back over her head and ducked away from him, back towards the castle.

He watched her go, and almost followed her, but steeled his resolve at the last moment. He slung his pack over one shoulder and turned away for the last time, walking through the gate into the darkness.

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34 thoughts on “#WIPpet Wednesday, #ROW80 and #StoryADayMay, oh my!

  1. Kate Frost says:

    Ooh you tease us with a teeny tiny sentence for WIPpet Wednesday and then as a bonus give us a whole story at the end! I really like your stories about castles and knights, kings and princesses. 🙂 Good luck with reaching all your goals – 15000 words a month, phew!

    Like

  2. kathils says:

    Love the WIPpet. What is he reading, I wonder, that’s causing such a reaction?

    Dang, Kate beat me. I so wanted to be the 550th. *kicks rock*

    The story reads well. Good luck on your goals. 🙂

    Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      I think I may have to reveal some more of this scene next Wednesday.

      Maybe you can aim to be 600?

      Thank yooou! ❤

      Like

  3. Raewyn Hewitt says:

    I was going to hang around and try to be 555, but really have to go to bed… Yes, furrowed brow, what’s going on there hmmmm. Loved the story too. Was kind of hoping he’d cave, but nice little moment!

    Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      Thanks! I think I will expand on this scene next Wednesday, and shed a bit more light on the subject.

      There is more to Sir Aidan’s story. Watch this space!

      Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      That is definitely an option. This one I want to enter has a given theme, and I think I’m overthinking it, instead of just writing something.

      Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      Thank you! As far as I have in my head, that’s not likely to happen, though I am sorely tempted to just write some alternate, what-might-have-been scenes for this guy. He seems to have gone down well with people. And after all, the May stories aren’t really official or parts of anything important. So. Watch this space!

      Like

  4. jessicaminyard says:

    Great WIPpet teaser! I definitely want to know what he’s reading. Also, good luck with A Story A Day. That sounds like a daunting task. 🙂

    Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      You will find out next week. I think I’ve intrigued people enough that I really should shed a bit more light on this scene soon.
      Thank you! So far, so good but it is only Day 2 at the moment!

      Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      Let’s just say Felipe doesn’t deal particularly well with survivor’s guilt, at least not at first, and not on top of all the other issues I’ve dumped on him recently (I’ve realised he really is my go-to character to torture. Cait gets off rather easy; she just has to put up with him).

      Thank you! ❤

      Like

  5. Alana Terry says:

    I like the story especially. Nothing like a brave knight-type disarmed by a beautiful princess! Good luck with all your goals too. Can’t wait to see how far you get in your contests, etc.

    Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      As I said to Kate further up, I’m realising knights and princes and princesses are really quite fun. I think I will play with them more often.

      Like

  6. Buffy Greentree says:

    I think you did the right thing with both the knight and the princess… I don’t think either could/should have done more then, to maintain their noble characters. But I’m assuming that give it time, the fates might arrange to bring them back together. (Fates, you listening? Bring them back together please.)

    Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      Erm… well, um… *glances around shiftily* Not as it stands at the moment. Though sort of. Ish. I’m going to stop now before I start making any less sense. But watch this space!

      Like

  7. Lisa says:

    Ah, porr Sir Aidan. *sniff* But you know, completely realistic. Sometimes the guy just doesn’t get the girl. (Methinks, though, you could write a sequel where he find The One Who is Just Right for Him….)

    Some great goals this month – I’ve checked out the Story A Day link and the Australian Literature Review, so I might give these a go myself… some time… Something to keep bookmarked anyway!

    Best of luck with your goals this month, and thank you for the snippet and short story. 🙂

    Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      Sir Aidan got rather intomy head. Today’s story is one follow-up for him, but l think there might be Alternate versions of his story cropping up before the month is over. I can only torture a dashing knight so much.

      Like

  8. Natalie Cone says:

    The wordcount widget is a great idea! I love to be able to encourage others along in their goals! Oh, and I had so much fun scrolling up and down your blog with the worm on a hook dangling along. It made me laugh.

    Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      Haha, the worm is quite popular! 😀 I’m loving my word count widgets already. It must be because I’ve been a public servant for the last four years – I love my stats!

      Like

  9. Eden says:

    Emily, you terribly cruel writer you… dashing that poor brave man’s dreams so (Bravo!).

    That teaser line was deliciously evil too. I’m already imagining the so many possibilities of what Felipe is reading might be….

    Like

  10. alberta says:

    Hi there – good work – I’m sure you’ll manage the story a day – I’m having a go for the second time – managed last year fingers crossed for this year.
    Liked the story – one wee small quibble – he says he’s not a nobleman – always thought could only be a knight if you were a nobleman – just a thought for when you polish:)
    Does he get the girl in the end?

    Like

    • Emily Witt says:

      That was one thing I wasn’t 100% sure about as I was writing. I don’t know if I will actually do any more with there, but it’s one thing I’Il think more about/change if I do.
      I’m afraid he doesn’t get his girl, at least not in the official course of events I’ve created for him. I wrote a follow-up to this piece on Thursday you can check out to see exactly how cruel I ended up being to him,

      Like

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