An Update for WIPpet Wednesday (Because Catchy Titles Elude Me)

I promised an update on the current state of affairs, being that I’ve been breezing on- and off-line like an errant gust of wind, with just as much to say. Monday I threw my hat in the ROW80 ring once again, so I’m  obligated to play catch up and hence my ROW80 update:

On the writing front things have been…frustrating, slow, *head, desk, repeat*, poke eyes out with sharp pencil, painful. As I’ve moaned about mentioned more than once, Edge of Darkness is fighting me. More precisely, the characters are. I will accept most of the blame. Generally, I tend to be a pantser, which translates into pretty much giving my characters free-rein to do whatever the blazes they want. At least for the first draft. They can be as pretentious, self-serving, gratuitous, and down-right whack as they want. I don’t care, so long as they cough up the story. Which I will then go back and beat into submission with a very large club and a sharpened red pencil (not the same pencil I’ve jabbed into my eye socket above). I haven’t been doing that with EoD for some reason. I’ve been trying to force it, and the loyal crew, to go in directions I *think* they ought to go in. It’s working about as well as you’d expect. Which is to say, it isn’t. Until yesterday when I said enough’s enough, and scattered potato chips on the wind. O_o That translates into: progress made and gets a big 😀

I’ve gotten feedback from several betas on The Coinblade Chronicles ~ Bound in Shadows. Some very good stuff. I intend to sit on it a while longer. Just until I get a better jump on EoD because it has to take priority.

On the personal front things have been…hectic, disorganized, and a bit unsettled. None of which help the other fronts. Funny how one thing can grow disproportionally into something else altogether. And then can proceed to disrupt the entire spere that is My World. But, such it is. One way or another it will straighten out. Or it won’t. In either case, the sun rises every morning, sets every night, and some things just need to happen in between.

There, all caught up. Now onto the real reason most of you are here. *cue trumpets* *looks expectantly at Kate* You brought the drums last time. Albeit, a bit late but, nevertheless…okay, here you are, 17 short paragraphs (7+9+1 bonus to end it better) in continuation of last week’s excerpt. And, because I’ve been doling this out in chronological order, I’ve decided to make it easy for you to read what preceded this by going here. Just in case you missed something, or feel the need for context.

“What do you want?” Master Jannis said.

To leave with my life, seemed to be an appropriate answer, but Dachus didn’t need to incite any further ill-will. “I’m here to buy a dragon.”

Master Jannis and the dragon snorted in unison.

“Money is of absolutely no issue,” Dachus said.

“You’re exactly right. It’s no issue whatsoever because there isn’t enough of it in all the kingdoms to get me to sell you a dragon.”

Dachus rolled his shoulders back and lifted his chin. “Do you realize who sent me here?”

“Do you realize it doesn’t matter?”

“Of course it matters!”

“Look,” Master Jannis drew in a deep breath, “dragons aren’t property. They can’t be traded like potatoes.”

“I’m not offering you potatoes.”

She rolled her eyes. “Has your propanow ever even seen a real dragon?”

Dachus cringed at her pronunciation of his lordship’s title. “The Proupunua desires a dragon for his son.”

“I see. Well, has his son every seen a real dragon? Ever fed one? Touched one? Picked up after it? Has he ever ridden one?”

Her emerald eyes bored into him. As bright as they were, they should have been warm and inviting, not dagger sharp.

“I thought not,” she said. “I’d suggest you enroll him in one of the lizard schools down along the coast.” A puff of smoke accompanied the dragon’s sharp exhale, and Dachus moved back into the fence. “They’re similar enough to the real thing that he’ll at least have some idea which end is up. Give him a couple years down there –“

“A couple years?”

“– and if he comes back with a glowing recommendation from one of the professors, I might consider taking him as an apprenticeship.”


Aaaaannnnd…I just killed a blood-filled mosquito on my enter key. Glorious. See you back here for Fictional Friday! Go WIP up something marvelous.


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  1. You’re going to have to give me advance notice regarding your instrument needs.

    *goes to local Trumpetorium*

  2. lol mosquito = gross

  3. Now I’ll do an actual comment. I’m glad to finally know why he’s there. I’m a bit more interested in the world now rather than just the characters.

  4. This exchange made me cackle:
    “Dachus rolled his shoulders back and lifted his chin. “Do you realize who sent me here?”

    “’Do you realize it doesn’t matter?’”
    Dachus continues to amaze me. On the one hand it’s great that he doesn’t back down from a challenge. On the other, I have to wonder if he’ll live long enough to return home.
    I so love Master Jannis!!!

    • Dachus has lived a somewhat sheltered life. Never left court much except to venture to another court. He is definitely out of his element here.

  5. Ooh. I like this! I love dragons, and I’m very interested in the concept of this story, especially since it seems like the dragons are going to have more personality than just “Oh, looky, big leathery thing—let’s kill it.”

    Aside from that, boy do I relate to the *headdesk* and *eyepoke*, only I usually have mine when I’m writing. I’m at that stage now, where the plot is coming together and the characters are developed, but I’m trying to decide on what order things need to happen. You’ve got this, though. *Fistbump of solidarity*

    • *returns fistbump* Had a better day of writing yesterday. Just let my characters go and told them to have fun. 😉

      And yes, I was trying very hard in this piece to stay away from the generic, cliche dragon.

  6. Excellent excerpt Kathi. I love the line: “They’re similar enough to the real thing that he’ll at least have some idea which end is up.” I love the way Master Jannis isn’t at all fazed by Dachus telling her who’s sent him. And the dragon doesn’t seem a bit concerned either lol. 😉

    Glad you’re finally making progress with EoD. I can sympathise. 🙂

    • I have to admit, Master Jannis is a bit too much like me. I’m not all that impressed with grandiose titles and positions either. Show me who you are as a person and then we’ll talk.

  7. Love this excerpt. And dragons, yay! I love dragons. The line that had me laughing out loud: “Look,” Master Jannis drew in a deep breath, “dragons aren’t property. They can’t be traded like potatoes.” Ha! Dragons most certainly cannot be traded like potatoes. 😀 Great job!

  8. Oh how I love your voice.. what superb style…x

  9. I’m not a dragon kind of gal but I like y.o.u.r. dragon. I’d like to buy one as well. 😀

  10. I love the snark in your characters, the word flow, the voice. I agree with the woman, let the kid have a lizard first. Owning a dragon is much more work than I want to deal with, and the kinds of big, meaty things I’d have to feed it…. yeah, couldn’t do it.

    • LOL Yeah, they can eat quite a bit. 😉 Hmm…now I feel the need to write a scene where Dachus gets to witness feeding time! You’ve inspired me.

  11. I like their back and forth. It’s light and entertaining even though you can sense the tension. And way to kill that mosquito, btw.

  12. I like this excerpt because, like Adrian said, it’s giving an insight into the world as well as the characters! I’m definitely intrigued.

  13. I love this! The interaction between these two. Dachus just doesn’t give up, does he?

  14. I am with Kat on the potatoes. I actually read most of that exchange aloud to my husband, it tickled me so much. He was less tickled; he’s thinking about corn tortillas (never read aloud to a chef when he’s dealing with before-work supplier foul-ups…).

    I’m really liking this story. The characters, the glimpses of their world, the grittiness of it and how out-of-place Dachus is beside the unimpressed Jannis and her incendiary friend…

    As for drafting…I was a pantser for a long time. Soemwhere in the middle of every story, I would start wandering around in the desert, all addled and looking for anything – ANYTHING – that would get my characters moving again. It wasn’t all bad – that’s how Henry from Chameleon’s Dish was born, and, come to think of it, how Tisira was, too.

    Last spring, I read Rock Your Plot, and then used it to haphazardly plan the two WIPs I began last July for CampNaNo and hope to have finished by the end of this month (one down, one halfwayish). Basically, I have a very sketchy Goal/Motivation/Conflict/Disaster outline I’m filling out one scene at a time, except for the main plot points, which I did way-back-when and am adapting as I go.

    I did a much more detailed planning for King of Shreds and Patches, my November NaNo. I had the GMCD for each scene, and a summary for the beginning, middle, and end, too. The background work is nearly long enough to be a novel, and I plan to mine the character bois for other stories, in the future.

    Oh, and I managed to complete a 122K word draft in 30 days, too! More – it’s the best rough draft I’ve ever written. The middle doesn’t exactly have a chiseled six-pack, but it’s not nearly as flabby as the rest of my WIPs are. And, even better – the structuring still allowed my characters ample space to do whatever they wanted – I just had a far better idea of what that would be.

    If this book sounds interesting, you can get it for $2.99 for Kindle. Not a really big risk.

    I’ve gotten about halfway through beta-ing CBC. Glad I’m not too late- my daughter turned 10 on Tuesday, and I lost my rhythm. I hope to finish up next week. It’s yummy! =D

    • I’ll have to give that book a look, Shan. Thanks!

      Can’t wait to see your comments on CBC.

      • The kids and I are going camping this weekend. I won’t likely be on the internet much, and I met my CampNaNo goal. So I’m planning to devote time over the weekend, and, of needed, as much of next week as it takes, and I will have it to you by the end of next weekend. I just got sidetracked by life in general – but I’m really excited to be getting back to it! =)

        • Have a very fun camping weekend!

          • Thank you. I waited too long to start preparing, so it’s more of a hustle than I’d like. Some of us are headachy, and one has swimmer’s ear, and we’re all tired, but things are moving along…

            Once we arrive, it’ll get fun. And I’m not rushing around like a madwoman, so at least I’m not overly hectic….

            And CBC is on my ROW80 short list for this weekend! =D

  15. Does Dachus realize that Jannis knew who his employer was before he said it? Does he realize that Tory can understand him (and might very well have a different attitude about becoming property of an untrained child than his employer)?

    Things to ponder….

    I so get you on the pantsing thing. And yet, I always feel like I should plot and plan more… You too?

    • I *feel* like I should plot more, I just find it hard. I end up making notes, or writing scenes that I want to fit in at certain points, then see if I can connect the dots. I’ve tried writing out a complete plot outline for a couple other projects, but then I really start to lose interest in it. I think my biggest problem with EoD right now is lack of focus. My brain is working on other things and I haven’t been able to zero in on it.

      • What you just wrote there, Kathi, I could have (and at times *have*) written. It’s about knowing too well what happens maybe?

        I guess the best way to plot would then have to involve enough connected dots with bits of vaguery (new word!) to entice one to keep writing?

  16. Lot, I love this exchange! Dachus’ sense of entitlement and Master Jannis not giving a crap about it makes a great clash.

    Glad to hear progress is being Made on EoD. Yaq!

  17. Pingback: An Adventurous Stretch -ROW80 Update, 7/16/14 | shanjeniah

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