#FictFBFeb17 Day 1: Introducing Her Royal Highness Clara Winterburn

Fictional Flashback February 2017 – day 1 – introduce your character

Image from pixabay.com
Princess Clara Winterburn

When her parents are murdered by an insurgent intent on putting himself on the throne and enslaving her and the magical skills she will soon develop, Princess Clara Winterburn chooses to escape to another country, her mind altered so that she can escape both him and the painful memories. But as his grip tightens on her kingdom and she begins to come into her powers, the time comes for her to face her destiny and take her place as the rightful monarch.

She is helped along the way by members of a magical order known as the Aligarian Mages, who remain loyal to her even in the face of cruel punishment and risk of death. In particular, there is Max Drosslemeier, a Mage around her own age, with whom she forms a strong bond. She doesn’t know it, but he and his aunt provide her with utmost protection during her exile.

Thelidon is a small Kingdom and the reigning monarch’s magic is all the protection the people need. The monarch makes a pledge, known as the Vow of the People, to protect them. But the magic only passes to the first-born child, so when the previous King died with no heir, the throne passed to his brother, Clara’s father, who had no magic of his own. While the Aligarian Mages were able to provide some protection to the Kingdom, it was still vulnerable to attack, something General Josef Bauer took advantage of.

By the time she returns to Thelidon with her memories once again restored and in control of her magical abilities, Clara has become a hardened Queen, angry at Bauer for murdering her parents, at herself for running away, and for her people, who have had no one to fight for them. She’s more than ready to take her Kingdom back.


Clara is one of the protagonists in my current WIP, Operation Sugarplum, the title of which may soon be changing to something like With Magic and Memory. If you’re a regular on my WIPpet Wednesday posts, you would already be familiar with her and Max from the snippets I’ve shared over the past few months. Over February, I will be sharing little outtakes from Clara’s point of view, as part of the Fictional Flashback February challenge, designed by my friend, Faith Rivens. Some of them will take place before the actual story, while others will be “missing scene” type ficlets.

This is challenge in the vein of those 30 Day challenges, except it’s for February, so it’s only 28 days long. The idea of Fictional Flashback February is to use each of the prompts to create a memory for your character to reminisce on, thereby getting to know your character better. I haven’t really done one of these challenges before, but I wanted to give this one a go! As I said to Faith, I make no promises for consistency or quality of my contributions, as they will be written on the fly, but before uni really starts back would be the best time for me to try doing a challenge like this, so here I go!

Here are the rest of the prompts:

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*The image I’ve used for Clara is a portrait of Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, taken from pixabay.com and used under Creative Commons CC0.

#WIPpet Wednesday – Religion and magic

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This was me last Sunday

I have a headache and I’m not in a great mood at the moment. As I briefly mentioned in my post on Monday, my car got rear-ended on Sunday. To my untrained eye, the damage didn’t look too bad, so I had her towed off to a smash repairs place and remained hopeful. Unfortunately, today I called them to follow up on it and it sounds like it’s going to be write-off. Apparently the damage is in the $3000-range, and the car is only worth about $2000 at most (it’s fifteen years old, my parents had it for ten of those and they live a long way from anywhere, so it has nearly 300,000 km on it). I want to clarify my options with my insurer, but I’m going to do that tomorrow when I’m hopefully less likely to cry at them. It’s not looking promising. Right now, I’m watching cat videos on YouTube so I don’t send angry text messages to the guy who hit me. Actually, mostly that’s because I’m far too nice to people and he’s been really quite cooperative and I would feel bad. But I’m still angry.

Did I mention my parents only gave me this car in mid-October?

Anyway. Let’s change the subject, shall we? I don’t want to bring down the normally delightful mood in the WIPpet Wednesday circle with my own woes.  WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly blog hop where authors share excerpts of their WIP that somehow relate to the date. You can join us here! Today is the 26th so I have added the 2 and the 6 together to give you 8 lines from my NaNoWriMo 2014 Word document. This story still doesn’t have a title, dammit. In this scene, it has come up that Josephine was religious in her previous life (five hundred years past), which piques Armand and Bianca’s interest. This is one of those bits of world-building that I didn’t plan, it just came out as I was writing and seemed to fit.

Armand tilted his head as he looked at Josephine. “Are you religious, Josephine?” he asked.

“I was… raised to believe that there is a power higher than us somewhere in the heavens.”

“Wow,” said Bianca. Josephine looked at her, confused by her incredulity. “Sorry,” she said, “once magic started manifesting amongst those people living in Esterfey in the early days all the religious systems started to fade away.”

“Yes,” Armand added, “While there were some who argued that their magical abilities were a gift from their gods, most people believed they had no need of their deities now that they could often answer their own prayers, or at least find someone who could.”

Despite the fact that I like this bit, it may not actually make it past this draft, since one of the notes in my “Notes for post-November” file is to make the magic systems a little more underground, rather than something everyone has and chooses whether or not to use. But we’ll see. December I am basically declaring a reading month and taking a break from writing, then I’ll come back to this and Unicorn Love in the new year. I can’t believe the new year is only five weeks away.

Anyway, I haven’t actually got my words down for today, so I probably ought to go work on that. Last night I wrote 2000 words in 55 minutes, but I don’t know if I can manage that two nights in a row. I’ll catch y’all later!

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday – Doleful Eyes

wednesdaybannerSo it’s 10pm and I’m thinking I’ll write a couple hundred more words on my NaNoWriMo and then turn in for the night, and then I realise that I am yet to write a WIPpet Wednesday post. Eeek! So, a quick update. NaNo has been going well. Apart from last Friday when I spent most of the night cleaning my house and only wrote 153 words or something, I’ve been keeping pretty well on track. I wrote over 6000 words on the weekend, ending up about 2000 words in front, and I’ve managed to maintain a state of 1000 words in front over the past few days. I reached 20000 words this morning, and my aim is to be at about 20500 before bed (yeah, so today I let myself down a little).

This weekend, I really only have Saturday at my disposal, and next week I’m likely to fall behind because I have choir most nights leading up to our production on the 20th and 21st (I’m so ready for this concert to be over, I swear). But that still gives me nine days to catch up again, including two weekends, so I’m not too worried.

There’s a particular plot point in my story that I figured would have to happen around the 25k mark. It took me a moment yesterday to realise that I was at 18k and I could actually start in that plot point’s direction. Which is exciting because it means the characters can stop talking about muffins (peach and cinnamon ones, for the record). So that’s where I’m at right now.

For WIPpet Wednesday this week, I have six paragraphs, because 12 (of November) divided by 2 (from 2014) is six. Armand, Josephine and Armand’s sister, Bianca, are headed down to the police headquarters because they want to hunt out their dad and hear the details about what’s going on with some high-profile disappearances. They’ll have a slightly better plan in later drafts, but this’ll do for now. I really like Bianca, her mouth runs away with her an awful lot. The keenness Armand remarks upon is due to Bianca getting them all up at the crack of dawn to go out.

“You’re really keen about this, aren’t you?” Armand remarked as they walked see by side along the pavement.

“What can I say?” Bianca replied. “I’m kind of excited about being the annoying kid who wants to see her important dad while he’s at work again. Haven’t done it in a long time.”

“Yeah, well, just as long as you remember that you’re not five years old anymore and staring up at the desk sergeant with those doleful eyes of yours is not necessarily going to cut it anymore.”

“Hey, don’t underestimate the power of my doleful eyes.”

“Oh, god, you’re going to flirt with the desk sergeant.”

“Only if he’s pretty.”

Join us for WIPpet Wednesday by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date and link up with us here. K. L. Schwengel is our wondrous host. I’m going to go back to my writing for a bit now, and I’ll catch you all soon.

#WIPpet Wednesday – Jumping back on the wagon

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!

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#WIPpet Wednesday and finally, a finished edit!

So after six weeks of me nagging him about it, Edy has completed the edits on A More Complicated Fairytale. I actually thought it was longer than that, but I just scrolled back through my blog posts and it was around mid-July when he started, so I guess I should take back some of my complaining. I’ve decided I’m not going to look at it until the weekend, when I can give it my full and undivided attention. But that’s pretty exciting.

For now, though, I’ll continue on with The Work Formerly Known As Unicorn Love, which I have tentatively retitled Love in a Time of Time Travel, which I like, because it basically sums up the two key aspects of the plot, but does it feel a bit clunky as a title? While I haven’t written a whole heap of new material, I did sit down on Sunday evening and type out the issues I need to figure out with the plot. My main couple are being uncooperative and refusing to reveal the exact nature of their relationship to me. I have no idea whether they were trying very hard to be “just friends” or whether they were a couple or if they’d even acknowledged their feelings for each other.

I had a grand plan this morning to get up early and do some writing. Except it was 6am and I could feel cramps coming on and it was cold and so after 213 words I went back to bed for another half an hour. I am, however, going to try and do the same thing tomorrow. 213 words each day is better than my recent track record of zero, and it would be good to get into this habit (even if the habit also includes the going back to bed again). We’re coming into spring in this part of the world, so hopefully in another month or so the weather will be warm enough that I won’t just want to snuggle down into the covers when the alarm goes off. (I say that now. Give it three months and I will be sleeping with only a thin sheet over me and the fan on and all the windows open and I’ll be wanting to know when the cooler weather is coming back.)

Anyway, I should really get a move on as it’s now nearly 10pm. The bit I was going to share, I have just realised, still only exists in my notebook, which is in another room and I can’t be bothered getting up. So I’ll share a bit before it. While Lexie and David are kind of the heads of their street gang, Lexie is on the outs with everyone else after David is sent to gaol, so in this scene she’s trying to scrounge a few pennies to get herself something to eat. WIPpet math… it’s the third so three paragraphs. It’s too late in the evening to be complicated now.

“‘Scuse me, miss!” she called out, running slightly ahead of the woman and then turning and walking backwards so she could face her. “Spare any change?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t -”

“Out of our way!” The woman was cut off by the older man she was with. “Be gone with you!” He swung his cane in Lexie’s direction and she jumped to the side to avoid being hit.

That’s all for tonight. By next Wednesday, I’ll have hopefully typed up the following bit, which is where another main character is introduced. I nearly named this character after a Doctor Who companion, but thankfully Googled the name to see if it was familiar or if I was just imagining things, and promptly changed her surname.

To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt of your current WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then join us at the linky. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. Since I am now nodding asleep on my bed’s foot-board, I shall head off and visit again when I am more awake. Love to all!

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#WIPpet Wednesday – Something Stupid and Sentimental

I kind of fell off the blogging bandwagon the last couple of weeks. Two weeks ago, I neither visited any other WIPpet posts nor did I respond to comments on my own, and last week I didn’t even post a single thing. For that I apologise, and I hope that I made up for it by managing to visit most of the WIPpeteers this week regardless. I’ve been neglecting my writing, too, mostly because I’m lazy and reading is so much easier (I’ve been powering through some novels lately). Also because I was stuck and ignoring the problem was the best way to go, obviously.

Anyway, on the weekend I got fed up with myself, which is generally what I do after a non-writing period. I decided if I wasn’t getting anywhere with An Eventual Happily Ever After, then maybe I should go back to Unicorn Love for a while. I pulled up my notes – which were mostly in the form of questions – and the small bit of writing I’d already done on it, and after a while had a bit of a direction to go in. On Sunday night, it was keeping me awake, so that’s a good sign. I wrote 1003 words during Sunday, and another few hundred yesterday (haven’t typed them up yet to get the actual number).

I’m probably actually going to write a couple of book reviews for the blog tonight (I just finished reading Elaine Jeremiah‘s new book, Reunion of the Heart, and also Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett. amongst a few other things). I have a write-in with my writer’s group tomorrow, so I’ll hopefully get a bit more done there, but I don’t know how long I’ll stay because the new book in the Lockwood and Co. series by Jonathan Stroud is released on Kindle tomorrow, and I’m going to just want to go home and read it.

Anyway, today is WIPpet Wednesday. I’m going to share a snippet from Unicorn Love, which follows on from the scene I shared in this post. My WIPpet maths is as follows: it’s the 8th month and 4+4 is 8, so 44 words. To refresh your memory, David is being held overnight at the police station before being sent to gaol the following day, and Lexie’s feeling guilty about it.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, and pulled away from David’s hand when she felt a tear starting down her cheek. He’d probably still see her cry, but she didn’t think she could cope with him doing something stupid and sentimental like wiping away the tears.

Incidentally, Lexie’s name is subject to change at some point, since I don’t feel the name fits the character. I’m just yet to come up with something better. I also have another character (she’s replaced the Venus character) currently named Beatrice McCarthy, but I need something a bit sharper sounding for her. I hate naming things. It’s the worst.

Anyway, I shall keep this brief, and head off now. Join us for WIPpet Wednesday by posting an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date, then link up here. Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. 🙂 Goodnight all!

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#WIPpet Wednesday – Daddy Issues

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The five leads in ABCTV’s “ANZAC Girls”

Psst! This post got rather lengthy (like over 1000 words, lengthy!) so if you’re just here for the WIPpet, scroll down about halfway and you’ll find it! 🙂

So as part of the commemoration of the beginning of the First World War, the ABC has started showing a series called “ANZAC Girls” (that’s Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), which follows the stories of five women who enlist as nurses and operate in Cairo in 1915. A lot of the scenes in the wartime hospital in A More Complicated Fairytale are based on what I picked up when I was working at the Australian War Memorial, but I didn’t do a huge amount of secondary research, other than what I gleaned from reading the letters and papers that crossed my desk. What I have realised from watching the first episode of ANZAC Girls is that the hospital Cait works in, and that Felipe is admitted to, in AMCF is about the most sanitised wartime hospital in the history of ever. I’m pretty sure Cait never gets a drop of blood on her. So that’s something I plan on working in the near future.

In the meantime, though, I’ve been continuing on completing an outline for An Eventual Happily Ever After. Somehow I have managed this in spite of Superman being on TV on Saturday night and me realising that I am a fool to have never watched the Superman movies before and thusly downloading them and watching one a night (though I took a break last night, and I’m out tonight and tomorrow, so IV and the two newer ones will have to wait until the weekend). There are bits in my outline that aren’t great, and are sort of temporary “get-from-A-to-B”s, but at the moment I want to know how to get from A – Z and then I’ll figure out the nitty-gritty later. I’ll probably have to cut out one scene I really liked in the original NaNo draft, because I can’t see a way for them to logically get to the necessary location…

Actually! I take that back, I just took a break from writing this post, drew a rough map of the country in which most of the story takes place and the route Ginny and Peter will take through it, and it might still work. Which makes me happy. And drawing a map was a good idea, anyway.

Tangent: the pen I used to sketch said map is a LiveScribe Wifi Smartpen which not only writes what I tell it to, but also takes photos of it and converts it to a file it can sync to my Evernote account, and also records everything I say while I’m writing. Edy got it for me for my birthday because I’d been going on about it, and when I first got it, I was thinking, “Oh god, I just made my boyfriend spend an exorbitant amount of money on something that is really better suited to someone who’s going to lectures or meetings all the time and can make proper use of it!” and I was feeling rather guilty. But I just listened back to the audio of what I was saying while I was mapping and I actually think this might be a valuable plotting tool. Also I literally said “… and stowaway shenanigans can happen here” and then promptly forgot I said it until I heard it again, so there will probably be more amusing things like that. So basically have a pen and Dictaphone all rolled into one (the only real downside is it requires special paper printed at 600 dpi on a laser printer, so at the moment I’m being very conservative with the 50 page starter booklet).

wednesdaybannerSo! After all that, I suppose you are expecting a WIPpet. I am going to cheat slightly with my WIPpet math week, because I was typing this up on Tuesday night, which was the 12th of August, so I’m giving you 12 paragraphs. 😛 They’re kind of lengthy (though under 500 words all together), feel free to skim. This is the scene I was going to share last week. Tension between Prince Felipe and his father is hinted at towards the end of AMCF, but I expanded on it here. Felipe and Cait are supposed to be dining with the guests who attended their youngest daughter’s Naming Day ceremony. However, having just learned that Ginny has gone missing, they’re somewhat preoccupied.

It was when his friend reached the door that he noticed his father standing in the doorway. The King’s arms were crossed and he was frowning.

“Father,” Prince Felipe said, suddenly becoming less confident. Cait took his hand under the table. While he was known to argue with the King on many occasions, sometimes he still came across as a little boy in trouble when his father frowned at him.

“I have a roomful of guests wondering why their hosts are not at lunch. Would you care to explain?”

“Father, Cait’s sister has gone missing. No one has seen her since the end of the Naming Ceremony. Surely finding her is more important than a lunch held so that some nobles and diplomats can fuss over a baby who would much rather be left alone to sleep?”

King Gilles pressed his lips together tightly. “I would have thought that perhaps the prince would make an appearance, if not his wife.”

Felipe looked like he was about to keep arguing, so Cait intervened. “Perhaps you should discuss the issue with your father outside, rather than in front of everyone?” The last thing she wanted was for the King and Prince to have one of their many arguments in front of a roomful of the prince’s knights.

Prince Felipe nodded, and stood up. As he moved out of the room, King Gilles joined him.

“You can’t just decide you’re not going to turn up to an important function, Felipe!” the King admonished him in a low voice. “You have certain obligations!”

“My obligations are to my family, first and foremost!”

“That’s very noble of you, but as the Crown Prince, you have just as much duty to your position as to your family. You are expected out there.”

“I will go and meet those guests once I am certain that I have done all I can to ensure that Ginny is found. Once my men are out combing the city, then I will make my appearance.”

For a moment, the King and the Prince just stared at each other in the hallway, before Prince Felipe turned on his heel and made his way back into the meeting room. King Gilles was left to angrily make his way back to the banquet hall and try and placate his son’s guests until Felipe hopefully turned up.

Please join us for WIPpet Wednesday! All you need to do is post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then join up with us here. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. 🙂 I’m going to head off now to continue working. See you all soon! 🙂

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#WIPpet Wednesday –

row80-2So I did a thing on Sunday night. I deleted my July 2014 Camp NaNoWriMo story from the site (obviously I kept the words). There is so much about the story that I need to figure out before I can continue with it, and I would rather not write waffle for three weeks and then fix it. I would prefer to research it and plan it properly, and then sit down to write it, knowing exactly what I am doing.

With that in mind, I’m returning to my old ROW80 goal of working on WIPs in theory for one hour, two nights a week. Sometimes it ends up being more than that on several nights a week, sometimes it’s four half-hour periods over the week, sometimes it’s something else… I don’t really mind as long as I feel I’m doing some solid work each week.

I was on the info desk at work yesterday morning, but everyone seemed to pretty much know what they were doing, so I brainstormed a few things that need considering for Unicorn Love (the title of which is likely to change now that the story has, but I’ll keep referring to it as that until I come up with a replacement) and I actually ended up with something resembling a plan. Well, the first part of a plan. There are still some aspects I need to work out. But yay, plan!

In other writing-related news, I’ve finally got Edy proofreading A More Complicated Fairytale for me! Okay, so he’s only done three pages so far, but he’s being very ruthless (I was a little horrified at first by the amount of red on page 2), so I’m rolling with that. I shall continue to be a naggy girlfriend of the “Oh, you’re beading? You could read some more. Oh, you’re knitting a beanie? Why don’t you read another chapter?” variety [yes, he does both these things], until it’s finished, but at least a start has been made. He tells me that as he is not working Friday, he will do a blitz then.

wednesdaybannerI think that’s about it for a ROW80 check-in, so onto WIPpet Wednesday. You may remember the square-jawed lad mentioned in last week’s excerpt. He and Lexie, my MC, well, neither of them will admit any feelings for the other, so there’s that, but they are also the two oldest in a group of street urchins living on Sydney’s streets in the 1890s. When David is arrested after an alleged robbery, Lexie lies to save herself from also getting in trouble, and David ends up with a prison sentence. (This will probably change slightly, as in my new plan, she’s not actually at the trial and he’s pissed at her for other reasons, but this is what I have written for now).

In this scene, she’s sneaked into the police station where he’s being held overnight (the desk sergeant is old and drunk and thus asleep) to apologise for not being there for him.

Her eyes were beginning to adjust to the dim light but she still grasped the handrail and took her time on the stairs. There was no use ending up with broken bones from a nasty fall. That would help no one.

She reached the cells, and cast the lamp light over the nearest couple. They were empty.

“Who’s there?” David’s voice came to Lexie from the third cell down.

“It’s me,” she said, walking the rest of the way.

David was standing up in the middle of the cell, about a foot away from the door.

“Oh,” he said, and Lexie stopped when she heard the disappointment in his voice. “Come to get your knife back, then?”

“My what?”

“The one you stabbed in my back.”

“What was I supposed to say? ‘Oh, yes, your Honour, I was there, I was his accomplice?

“You could have thought of something that helped me as well as you!”

Poor Davey… If it makes you feel better, she’s going to attempt to change the course of history so you don’t end up in prison for six months…? Aphrodite is still hanging about in the new version of the story, though I’ve switched to calling her Venus, because for some reason in my head, Aphrodite = vain and vacuous but Venus = glamorous and elegant, and that’s what I need now.

Anyways, this post has taken me way too long to type. I’m going to head off now, finish my glass of Baileys and try to have an early night. If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date (today mine was 16 sentences for the 16th) and then link up with us here. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. ROW80 (the writing challenge that knows you have a life) is the brainchild of Kait Nolan and you can read more about, and link up with fellow paricipants, here.

Goodnight!

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Today’s #ROW80 and #WIPpet Wednesday

row80-2So I was all, “I probably won’t do a ROW80 update on this first Wednesday of the round, because mine is a weekly goal, and it’s unlikely I will have made a huge amount of progress in two days.”

Which would usually be true, except then I finished editing my two chapters for the week on Monday night. So that was pretty awesome. It helps that the first of these two chapters was one I had already written a fair amount of the new material for, anyway, and the second didn’t require many changes, so it was mostly just copying and pasting from the previous draft and making little edits here and there.

(Last night I then proceeded to write one sentence, before being invited up to my neighbour’s house to run Crucible lines [she is also in the production]. Except we ran no lines whatsoever in the two and a half hours I was up there, and just talked about what we’re reading and the upcoming Jane Austen Festival and how one year we’ll be organised enough to actually attend, and things like that.)

Most of the drastic changes between drafts do take place earlier on in the story, and apart from a few little things to do with the order of certain events, much from where I’m up to through to the end will remain pretty much how it is. There are a few spots where I’ve

I’ve also decided on the subject matter for either August Camp NaNoWriMo or official NaNoWriMo, (depending on what month it is when I am finally done with AMCF) so I’m doing some preliminary research on that to try to figure out an actual plot. Which is weird because I never do research (well, not at the outset), but I’m really set on this topic and the reading is really fun. Sorry my vagueness, I want to keep it to myself for a little while yet.

wednesdaybannerAnyway, today being Wednesday also means WIPpet Wednesday. I am going with something short today because I’ve spent way too long trying to figure out what to post. As for my WIPpet math, I added up all the digits of today’s date and got 20, and then I subtracted 1 because… that’s how many words there are in my excerpt. So ner. Or I guess I could just add up all the digits except for the 1. Whatever. Last week, quite a few of you admired Cait’s forthrightness towards Prince Felipe. This is another example of that, though in this scene, she’s dealing with one of the doctors in the war hospital who is rude to her on a number of occasions.

“Most people here realise that the nurses deserve as much respect as you; perhaps you should do the same.”

The ROW80 linky for today can be found here, and I encourage you to and cheer on some other writers. To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then join us at this linky. Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. And speaking of Kathi, I have a review of her latest novel, Emergence, scheduled for this Friday, so keep an eye out for that. I’m going to head off now, visit some blogs and then do some more writing. Catch you all later! 😀

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#WIPpet Wednesday – When BFFs know too much.

Happy Wednesday, all!

You know when you’re about to go on a long car trip with a small child and you really want them to go to the toilet beforehand? And they say they don’t need to/can’t and you tell them to “just try”? This has been my attitude to writing this week, and it has worked. I’m not feeling listless/restless/unable anymore, and all because I just tried to write for a bit. I’m also discovering that not all the new material I had made notes about for this next version of AMCF is going to work, and realising that is okay. Just because I had an idea at one point doesn’t mean it HAS to be included. I’m also just doing some idle note-taking for extra material to be worked into scenes that already exist for the most part. I think I was trying too hard to rewrite entire things that didn’t need changing, then I’d get annoyed because I was handwriting things that were already in the old MS.

On a similar note, since I didn’t get around to responding to your comments on last Wednesday’s post individually, just wanted to extend a huge THANK YOU for all the suggestions you gave re: that scene. I have some really good ideas to play with now that I didn’t have before and it is thanks to you folks.

wednesdaybannerSo onto today’s WIPpet! I have ten lines because it’s the nineteenth and 1 + 9 = 10. You know how when you were a teenager or maybe even into your 20s and you had a massive crush on someone, but you thought you were doing a pretty darn good job of hiding it? And then it turns out your best friends know you far too well and it’s apparently really obvious to her(/him)? That’s what Cait’s going through in this excerpt. It’s worse for her because the guy in question is her BFF’s older brother.

I’ve revamped the opening of AMCF so that news of the Prince Sebastian’s assassination and the upcoming war is revealed through a conversation Cait has with Ava, her best friend and Guy’s younger sister. They are wondering whether Guy will be able to come home between National Service on the borders and marching into a full-blown war. Ava has just said she’s sure that Guy would want to see Cait, too, if he is able to get home at all. Oh, and for those who have read earlier version of AMCF, no, Cait and Guy aren’t an official couple anymore. It works better this way, I think.

Warning: I am actually typing this from memory, as I’m on a desk shift at work, and can’t really go on with my actual work because this computer does not have Photoshop, and basically all my non-desk-shift work requires either a photocopier/scanner, of which there is not one in the reading room, or Photoshop. So I figured I might as well do something semi-constructive. Anyway, this is about writing, and writing makes books, and I work in a library, which contains books, so it’s totally work-related, right?

Cait looked down at her hands. “I’m sure he’d rather spend the last weeks before he goes to war with his family.”

“Oh, Cait, you’re not fooling anyone. I’ve known you fancied Guy since… oh, I don’t even remember when I first noticed. And he likes you, too. One of you should hurry up and say something to the other!”

By the time Ava finished speaking, Cait’s face had turned a dark red and she refused to meet her friend’s gaze. She only looked up again when Ava placed a hand on her arm.

“Well, I’ll let you know when he’s home. I’d best be going, I suppose. I was on my way home before, but I thought I’d drop in quickly.”

Cait walked her Ava to the door and then returned to the sitting room, where she tried to read the rest of the newspaper’s headlining article. She was distracted fairly quickly by a fluttery feeling in her stomach, though whether that was concern for Guy going to war, or a kind of giddy delight from Ava’s confirmation that Guy also had feelings for her, she couldn’t tell.

That last paragraph is a bit dodgy and not exactly what I wrote last night, but you get the drift. Where I left off last night, Guy is home, and we are actually get to meet him. He was always an off-stage character before. I am sort of wary of the story turning too much into a Guy/Cait/Felipe love triangle, because I generally despise love triangles, but I think it should be fine.

If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, we would love to have you! Simply post an excerpt of your current WIP, or the beginning of a new one, that somehow correlates to the date. Then link up with us here and join in the fun! I’ve still got 19 minutes of desk time remaining, but I’m going to go find something else to do for that time. I’ll catch you all later! 😀

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