Hello all. I have been rather lax at blogging as of late, and for that, I apologise. I have no excuse for disappearing last week. I was planning a WIPpet post, but then I ended up going up to my neighbour’s house on Wednesday evening and then it was bedtime when I came back down. Also, the last week and a half have basically been non-writing weeks, as even the NaNo planning has ground to a bit of a halt. Mostly I am stuck on the development of my antagonist, and her arc. I wrote a bit about that on the Plot Doctoring forum this morning. You can read that here, and if you have any advice to give, I would much appreciate it! (If you don’t have a NaNo account, feel free to answer on this post). I’ve also had my parents here the last few days; they were giving me their old car, but were worried about my apparent over-confidence with driving, and were therefore fussing. It was exhausting.
Anyway, since I haven’t any more cute character interviews or anything fun to give youfrom the upcoming NaNo, I will instead briefly return to Unicorn Love, the story I was sharing from a couple of months ago. I don’t actually know if this is still a WIP, but I am partial to the characters, so let’s work on the basis it will get returned to. This scene takes place a fair bit after the other ones I shared. Upon seeing how much Lexie would give to have it so that Davey never ended up in gaol, Grace Littlewood takes her on to figure out how to use a watch she has discovered, which she believes can allow the user to travel in time. Lexie tries it a first time, and it is a pretty unpleasant experience, and she suggests maybe it isn’t a good idea to use it. Miss Littlewood reacts quite angrily to that, and Lexie wonders why, prompting this explanation. My WIPpet maths is 22 lines from my Scrivener file.
Lexie moved a little closer. “Why is it so important?” she asked. “This isn’t just about helping me, is it?”
Miss Littlewood sighed and sat down. “When I was younger, still at school… the was a girl there. Her name was Anna Radcliffe and she was the sweetest girl I’d ever met.” Her expression became wistful. “We fell in love, and -”
“You what? With a girl?”
Miss Littlewood looked up sharply. “I felt as strongly about Anna as you do about your David.” Lexie was taken aback by the sharpness in her tone.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’ve just never heard of it before.”
Miss Littlewood gave her a wry look. “It’s far more common than you think.” Lexie decided to take her word for it.
“What happened to Anna?”
“We had plans to run away at the end of the school year. We were going to go to Melbourne, or perhaps Brisbane. We hadn’t really decided. We just wanted to be far away from here, somewhere where no one knew us. But we were careless. Anna’s father discovered us one evening… he didn’t see much but it was enough. He told me I was never allowed to see his daughter again. When she tried coming after me a few nights later, he…” Miss Littlewood pressed her lips together.
“What did he do?”
“He sent her away. Had her locked up somewhere so awful that within a year she’d become ill and died. Can you imagine sending your daughter to a place where that would happen?” Lexie shook her head. “And I’m not even sure he cared.”
“I’m sorry.” Lexie couldn’t think of anything else to say.
“A year or two ago, I had a dream about the clock. And Anna was there, too. I somehow knew that if I could find that clock, I could find her again. I need to save her, Lexie. Do you understand that?” Her voice was barely above a whisper. Lexie nodded.
In reference to Lexie’s ignorance/naivety, bear in mind this is set 100-150 years ago (I haven’t set it in concrete, but I think 1880s…) and Lexie’s not got a huge range of life experience. I actually as I was posting this figured out the plot point that I have been stuck on with this one, so I will definitely be filing it away for post-NaNo continued work. Yay!
Anyway, it’s past my bedtime and I was tired before, so I should hurry this up. To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date and then link up here. Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. And now, I am off to bed!
15 thoughts on “#WIPpet Wednesday – Jumping back on the wagon”
I’m glad you’re going to keep working on this one, it sounds interesting! Great motivation for Grace there.
I hadn’t touched it in quite a while until I opened up the file to find something to post, and now I’m like, “Oh yeah! I like this one!”
I think Lexie’s reaction is believable given the time frame. It’s a great twist to why Miss Littlewood is so interested in the clock.
I hope so. She’s pretty used to taking it in her stride, and she’s more interested in hearing the whole story than worrying about one part of it.
I agree with Kate and Kathi about Lexie’s reaction. Glad you’re working on this.
Thanks Linda! 🙂
I love it! This is definitely a good reason for her interest in the clock. Lexie’s reaction is definitely believable, but I also like that she’s not all horrified, either—just naive and surprised. I have a feeling this won’t work out in “real life” as well as it does in Miss Littlewood’s mind, of course.
At the moment, the plan is for their ending to be somewhat bittersweet, though the bittersweetness could feasibly be followed with a happy ending… just depends how nice I feel like being to my characters. 😛
That would be quite a shocker for a naive girl in those days. Although, double check your time frame. The idea of homosexuality being “a woman’s soul trapped in a man’s body” emerged around that time and it did become more accepted for a while. (Sorry. I can’t remember the name of the guy who said that.)
One little thing: “the was a girl” There was a girl?
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Well, the events Grace is describing happened about 17 years prior to the actual plot taking place (she’s in her mid-30s, whereas Lexie is only 17-18ish), and I think Anna’s father probably takes more issue with having a willful daughter no doing as she’s told as anything else. Both the Littlewoods and the Radcliffes are quite wealthy and influential families, so having a daughter run off with anyone would be quite embarrassing for him.
Having said all that, I have just spent half an hour googling that theory – presented by Krafft-Ebing, btw, possibly amongst others – as I find Victorian theories on basically anything rather fascinating.
Thanks for picking up the typo – should definitely be “there”
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Great excerpt. I loved the way it revealed some more character motivations! I shall head over to the plot doctoring forum soon and see if I can help! I like helping! 🙂
“With a girl?”
I can almost hear her saying it, as the idea that’s never occurred to her before this moment. I love the way, once she’s been clued in, she just matter-of-factly accepts it and gets on with listening to the story. I could see some characters getting hung up on it, or arguing that Anna’s father did the right thing, or something else.
I’ll head over to plot doctoring, too- I always mean to play in the forums, and then get all lost in the writing…maybe you ladies could bean me in the head a couple of times a week, and I’ll come out of Vulcan-land and pop in for a bit….
I think the reaction is absolutely believable given the time frame. This would have been completely shocking in that era.
And I’m on this bandwagon! All this LGBT, and I’m there! =P
On another note, this a great excerpt. The interaction is excellent and quick moving, it let’s us in on what’s happening without seeming like an information dump at all. It also is a very interesting added plot point. I definitely want to see where this is going.
This is an intriguing, interesting excerpt Emily. I think you handled the whole interaction between the two characters, particularly Lexie’s surprise about Grace’s feelings for Anna, really well. And I agree with the comments above – it’s entirely believable. Good stuff! 🙂