Wrapping it Up WIPpet Style

SeanBeanWIPpetHappy WIpet Day, Everyone! Because today is the 14th, this Wednesday’s WIPpet is 14 (short) paragraphs from The First House in honor of the fact that I have *cue flying monkeys and celebratory music* just stuck a fork in it, and am tossing it in front of some able-bodied Critters. I can hear the uproar already. “But you were supposed to be working on Emergence! Your Beta readers are waiting. What’s wrong with your priorities, woman?” Well, truth is, I hit a huge sucking mud hole little snag in Emergence so I spent some time on my other two (three) TWO WIPs — that’s why I have more than one going at a time.  Grady and Quinn just sort of finished themselves. That, of course, means I now have to get busy on the accompanying drawings and decide when/how to serialize it, etc. etc.

Here, once again, Grady finds himself in a bit of a situation. That boy just can’t keep himself away from trouble, can he?

He had just rounded a dense copse when he spotted a woman standing among the trees as though waiting for him. Grady reined in sharply. The woman stepped into the open and leveled a gaze at him, her emerald eyes sharp as a blade. The gossamer thin folds of the short dress she wore left very little to the imagination. If she had been a normal woman Grady would have found the sight hard to resist, but the translucent shimmer of her skin and mossy green color of her hair marked her as something other than human. A sprite, maybe, or some other Fae.

“You are the Darkness,” she said, her voice as hard as her gaze. “I have been searching for you.”

“Is that a fact?” Grady’s horse tossed its head and snorted, sidling sideways and giving the woman a wide-eyed appraisal. “And why is that?”

“To kill you of course.”

Grady sighed. “Love of gods, why does this always happen?”

“Because you are the Darkness.”

“Right. How silly of me to forget.”

“And because you have threatened my Heart.”

“Your heart?” Grady rubbed the back of his neck. “No offense, but I don’t normally take up with your kind. I’d likely remember if I had. Unless I was drunk. Really drunk. In either case, apologies for any misunderstanding between us. I’m generally quite candid about my intentions right up front. If you think I promised you any more than a night –“

The woman gave him a look of pure disgust. “Never would I lay with such as you.” She topped off the statement with a shudder. “I would rather take the horned beast of the underworld and all his spawn.”


Grady’s horse shied when the woman took a step forward. He spun the beast in a tight circle, never taking his eyes off her slight form. Before he could complete the spin, she threw herself at him. The horse tried to rear and though Grady dropped the reins his mount had already lost its balance. It lurched to the side and Grady threw himself clear, rolling to keep from getting crushed to death, or pommeled by its flailing hooves.

He gained a crouch, spinning as movement caught the corner of his eye. A flash of silver darted toward his throat and Grady tumbled back, bringing his foot up hard. The woman grunted and flipped over him. He heard her land as he scrambled to get back to his feet, finding them just in time to dance away from another viper-like thrust of her shimmering blade.

The damn woman was serious.

I spent some time trying to find a theme song for Grady but I couldn’t come across anything that resonated with me. I’m sure I’ll stumble upon something. He’s a bit complex so finding a song that feels like him is a tough challenge.

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  1. Grady, Grady, Grady!!! “I’m generally quite candid about my intentions right up front. If you think I promised you any more than a night–” Don’t you know that statements like that will get you killed or severely beaten??? At least you’re entertaining, Dude!!!

    No wonder you’re having a hard time finding a song for him. You might try some of Taylor Swift’s songs. She seems to break up with characters like this.

    • I always say, if you can’t be anything else, at least provide some entertainment. 😀

      I’m not much of a Taylor Swift fan. And Grady’s theme needs to be something that also shows his extreme loyalty to his brother, and his somewhat black sense of humor.

  2. Oooh! Me likey a lot! I could really picture the scene and immediately got sucked into the story. I got a sense of Grady’s cockiness immediately. I especially like this line: “her voice as hard as her gaze.”

    I had a little trouble with the fight scene, at least some of the phrases struck me as a little odd, like “gained a crouch.” But at the same time, I don’t dislike them necessarily.

    The one line I felt pulled me out of the story was “The woman gave him a look of pure disgust.” For all the wonderful descriptions and showing I enjoyed, this stuck out, as I wanted to see what disgust looked like on her face. Perhaps a crinkled nose, narrowed eyes—just however you pictured it.

    But I really liked this excerpt. Well done!

    • Thanks for the great comments, Jae. Ah, you’re right about the telling not showing. Good catch! I’m usually hounding other people about that. 😀 Oops.

  3. I second Jae, the ‘gained a crouch’ part was a little odd.

    Other than that, I really really enjoyed it. I adore Grady, even if he’s a magnet for trouble, and his smart mouth always makes me smile.

    • I have to wonder if I originally wrote that he ‘gained his feet’ because now that it’s been pointed out to me, I have to agree, it sounds rather odd. Can’t wait to see how many of my Betas thump me for that. *groan*

    • BTW, tried to comment on your WIPpet two days in a row. BlogSpot is being decidedly unfriendly and keeps erroring out — even on different computers. >:(

  4. Haha, that was amusing, especially the part about him only not remembering if he were drunk. 🙂

  5. Don’t know… I love how Grady’s voice came through pretty loud and clear here–he’s the same charming twit I’ve grown to know and love. 😀

    Still, I’m not sure I like this fight. Granted, I don’t know everything he’s done, but he’s not struck me as someone worth being called “The Darkness”. It seems too grandiose…

    • Yes, charming . . . but he does have his dark side. Not his fault. And he’s still loveable.

      • We all have our dark sides, Kathi. I think that’s why I’m confused. I’m sure you’ll eventually explain it all in a way that makes perfect sense, but for now… He’s just some guy, you know… 😉

  6. I found this very amusing Kathi. Love Grady’s one liners. Great excerpt.

  7. I enjoyed reading this and especially your sharp dialogue and look forward to more.

  8. I just love Grady’s dialogue and the way he can find humour in the most bizarre/dangerous/oddest of situations. A really great and vivid scene.

  9. Grady has some real women issues, doesn’t he? 🙂

    • Grady has some real issues. Period. 😉 But, yeah, women are going to be a real problem for him . . . in some very serious ways. Poor boy.

  10. I personally love his honesty. If every man looking only for a little fun would just say so….well, then they might have less fun!

    One little thing. I’ve turned a horse tightly a few times when it was shying…and I don’t know how Grady could keep his eyes on her the entire time. It might be better if he lost sight of her, and was desperate for the (perhaps balky) animal to spin enough that he could get her in line of sight again.

    As for “gained a crouch” – it made perfect sense to me. I’m picturing him leaping away, going into a shoulder roll for impact, rolling up to his feet, and, quite literally, gaining the crouch at the end of the roll. I could be off with my mental choreography, but it was very clear in my mind, that way…

    Oh – was he trying to avoid being POMmeled or PUMmeled?

    • Likewise on the turning a horse. My thought for the action was that he had just started to put the horse into a turn and hadn’t even gotten half a circle when she came for him. But you make a very good point. I’ll have to read it again and perhaps clarify.

      You got my action scene nailed! *happy dance* I actually choreograph these things and occasionally act them out in slo mo just to make sure what I’m saying my characters are doing is possible.

      Oh, geeze, did I write “pommeled”? Well, sure, cause of getting hit with the saddle, you know. *rolls eyes* Although I do think either is correct. 😉

  11. Love this excerpt. Well done. I especially enjoyed this dialogue:

    “Never would I lay with such as you.” She topped off the statement with a shudder. “I would rather take the horned beast of the underworld and all his spawn.”


    • Thanks, Michael. And thanks for stopping by.

      I was just getting glimmers of ideas regarding toying with 3D animation when I stumbled on your site yesterday — I think through a FB link. Anyhow, going to have to go back and get the names to that software. Yeah, because I really need something else to add to my plate. *sigh*

      • The learning curve for DAZ Studio wasn’t so bad for me, since I’d used similar 3D rendering programs back in the 80s and knew what to expect. There are quite a few videos you can watch (some on YouTube, some you can download for free from the DAZ store) to help learn DAZ Studio, so maybe it won’t be bad for you either. It is a heck of a lot of fun once you know what to do.

        There are other 3D rendering programs out there, but DAZ Studio is free, which is hard to beat. And it can use 3D models for Poser as well as those in the DAZ format.

        • I haven’t done too much with 3D, but I’m fairly computer literate and usually pick up new software quickly. All my design/digital work has been done in a combination of Photoshop/Illustrator/some Corel and a few miscellaneous programs. Way back when I did some work with CAD but not much. I’m definitely going to have to look into DAZ. Free is a good thing. 🙂

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