Tie a Knot in it and Hold On
Who doesn’t love Wednesday? Seriously. In honor of which, the greatest Geico commercial I’ve seen in a long time. Just because I can.
And now onto the WIPpet for this week. I’m stewing over it. I haven’t done anything but try to edit Emergence and fill in the gaping holes in the final handful of chapters. I’ve basically written nothing. Okay, not true. I’ve written lots of stuff to fill in those gaping holes. Then deleted lots of stuff. Then wrote some more. Ran my head into the wall. Walked in circles. Pulled out grey hairs. Wrote some. Deleted more. Begged my subconscious to please, for the love of dark chocolate and Guinness GIVE ME SOMETHING!!!!!!!
Yesterday, it finally did. *whew* And so I felt safe sending the first twenty odd chapters to my First Reader while I finish up the tail end.
In the meantime, I received some insightful, honest, critical input on The First House and my lovely brothers. I knew they had issues. Now I know just how many.
And, the short story I was trying to write for the end of October . . . I switched it up. Same character, but instead of starting where I did previously, I thought I’d tell the story of how Branson got stuck where he is. So I guess, for a lack of any other inspiration, I’ll give you the new beginning to Fortune Favors the Cold. If you missed the first glimpse of that, you can find it here. Today I’m going to exercise the option of WIPpet math, and for 9/11 I present you with the first 20 (short) paragraphs of FFtC. Which, in case I didn’t mention it, I was trying to slate for this anthology from Long Count Press. Whether it will even be finished in time is anyone’s guess. Keep in mind, this is raw, first draft. Really raw.
“You’ll remind me again why I’m going first?” Lanster’s voice echoed through the cavern, drifting up from below the ledge where Branson waited. The torch they’d thrown down to gauge the depth of the drop cast Lanster’s wavering shadow against the far wall as he dangled on the rope like a spider.
“Because you do as I say,” Branson said.
“And you’ll remind me again why that is?”
“Because I’m the one in charge. Are you almost down?”
The rope twisted on the edge, dislodging a handful of pebbles to shower down on Lanster’s head. “Damn the gates.”
“I’ll run out of rope before I run out of open air,” Lanster said.
“A long drop?”
“Longer for you than me.” He chuckled.
Lanster had a head more height than Branson and liked to think that gave him one up on his partner. Which in some situations it did. But the lanky youth had yet to bulk up, so where muscle and skill with a blade were concerned, he lost out.
“The bottom, Lan,” Branson called down. “How far?”
“Hold your water.”
Insolent pup. Branson scrubbed a hand along the line of his jaw, his finger tracing the old scar that ran from just below his ear to his chin. That’d been a damn close call. One of many. But if Joorysh were right, and blessed Hermares he better be, Branson’s share of the treasure to be found in the center of these buried ruins would be enough to fund his retirement. The only close calls he could look forward to after that would come from falling out of his chair at the Long Draught.
The rope twisted against the edge again. “Shite.”
Branson dropped to his belly and peered down. Lanster dangled yet. Below him, in the pool of orange torch light, something moved.
“Shite.” Branson seconded Lanster’s sentiment. “What is it?”
“Damned if I know but there’s more than one.” The rope jerked. “And they have teeth.”
“Really, Branson? Really?” Lanster’s voice held a rising note of panic. The rope jerked again. “Did I mention they can jump? And that they appear hungry? Did I mention that?”
Put a character up a tree, throw rocks at them, get them down. I forget where I saw that bit of short story advice and I’m sure I’m mangling it in the paraphrasing, but there it is. So, which beginning do you prefer?