Hi everyone! If you saw my blog post on Monday you’ll know that I am officially returned from my exam induced hiatus and have put my name down for the current round of ROW80. That means that as well as a WIPpet for you today I also have a quick ROW80 update:
Read over Queen of Hearts draft. Laughed at amount of typos. Although to be fair, today’s WIPpet was edited(ish) today so that’s something.
I’ve jotted down a few quotes and ideas in my notebook. That’s about it.
This. This is blogging. Yay.
No progress in the last couple f days but hope to work on it over the weekend.
And now, onto the fun bit – WIPpet Wednesday hosted as always by K.L. Schwengel. Unable to find something that correlated to the date I decided to take a chunk from Queen of Hearts that I liked and do a quick edit so this excerpt relates to the date because I edited it today and because math. When I was editing I was trying to focus on showing rather than telling and incorporating the senses into the piece without it being too clunky. Any feedback in this department would be appreciated. 🙂
Context: Things are happening. Murder! Mayhem! Plots! Plots everywhere!
Smoke hung over the city, trapped by low temperatures and intrigue. Eriden wished for less of both. As she wound her way through the predawn streets to the tune of trickling sewerage and distant screams, Eriden could not shake the feeling of unease settled about her shoulders like a winter mantle. She arrived at the Guild House and was met not by the usual doorman but by Alyan’s protégé. He smiled a greeting but she ignored him, following him in silence to Alyan’s office on the first floor. They had slept together once, she and Bren, when they were both young and foolish and drunk on sweet wine after a kill. Not that that meant anything now.
Every instinct told her to run. When they entered the office, Alyan was standing behind the expensive desk, a frown crinkling his gruff features.
“Close the door.” Alyan snapped.
Eriden did as she was told and waited to be invited to sit. No such invitation was forthcoming.
“Are you getting soft, girl?” he demanded.
“Don’t speak in riddles, Alyan.” She’d slept with him too, when she was old enough to have known better. She had blamed it on heart’s folly and tried to forget his kisses.
“The royal brat. She should be dead. Or have you forgotten?”
“I have a very good memory, Alyan.”
“Then why, by Nare, is she still alive?”
“I didn’t take you for a religious man.”
In his corner, Bren quirked a smile.
The Guild Master ignored her jibe, “When a client pays for a job to be done, they expect it to be done.”
“Feeling pressured by the nobility? That’s not like you,” Eriden’s brow furrowed in thought, “They have something on you, don’t they? Duke Hallten knows something about you that could jeopardise you.”
“Who ordered the hit is of no consequence.”
“Oh, I disagree. This job is personal.”
“Fine, yes, Hallten, asked for you in particular.”
“Then he’s an idiot.” Eriden replied, crossing her arms across her chest.
“As long as he pays, I don’t care what sort of fool he is. So I’ll ask you again, why isn’t the brat dead?”
“I’m biding my time.”
“To what end?”
“To gain her trust.”
“What use is the trust of a dead woman?”
“And to ensure that when I do complete my task, no blame will fall on me.”
“Blame is an assassin’s game, Eriden.”
“I won’t hang for it. If the duke wants her dead, and by my hand, then he must learn patience.”
“If Karavere is not finished with by summers end, I’ll send Bren after you. He can finish the job if you won’t. And you along with it.”
Eriden faltered, dread swirling around her chest. She turned on Bren “How much did he promise to pay you?”
“A vast sum,” Bren replied, leaning against the book case, “I refused it, of course.” He smiled, “Some marks are just for fun.”
20 thoughts on “ROW80 and WIPpet: A Tale of Acronyms”
Oh, I so do love that last comment of Bren’s. *evil snark* I might like him. I’m not sure though…is Bren who you refer to in the first paragraph as Alyan’s protégé? That bit was a bit confusing. I found the use of ‘intrigue’ in the very first sentence threw me, it didn’t seem to fit. Mainly because I don’t think of it as something that can trap the smoke–it’s not a visual thing for me, if that makes sense. The dialog flows well, great back and forth that propels the story forward and leaves lots of questions.
Glad you enjoyed Bren’s character and thank yo for the helpful feedback! 🙂
I wasn’t confused by the protege thing.
I do love this excerpt though. It’s great in that it pulled me in from the start. I think the sense are definitely there in this. The only way it could be added to would be a few more action tags about what’s going on, but I wouldn’t want it to take away from the amazing dialogue going on here.
Ok, great 🙂 thank you for the feedback. Action tags etc are definitely something I know I need to improve on.
This is great Amelia. I love how at the beginning Eriden seems in control of the situation she’s in and then as the scene progresses, she rapidly loses control to the point where her life could be in danger. But something tells me she survives… 🙂
I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 And yes, she survives, for a while at least. 🙂
I was only a little confused, but I figured it out quickly. How’s that for giving a third opinion on it? LOL
The dialogue is great. I’m torn on action tags here. I tend to think they might interrupt the flow. If there’s a way to accomplish them without making it too choppy, that would be ideal.
Hmm, ok, thanks for the feedback 🙂 Which bits were you confused about?
Oh, sorry. Only the part at the beginning about who Bren was. I think maybe it’s just that there’s no transition to using his name. I figured it out quickly, though, so I don’t know whether it needs to be changed.
Ok, thanks 🙂 I’ll have a closer look at it and try to make it a bit clearer.
I wasn’t confused! 😀 Also, yeah, some action tags would be good, but I’m also not bothered by the lack of them because the dialogue is so interesting!
Also, all I really have to say (other than constructive feedback) is uh oh! Uh oh for Kara! Uh oh for Eriden! Uh oh for…no, maybe not uh oh for Bren. But uh oh!
Hehe there is a lot of uh oh but not necessarily for whom you assume 😀
“Some marks are just for fun.”
So, I’m not sure if Bren is a good or bad guy(or somewhere between), but I might like him anyway.
Good to hear. And I enjoy making my characters ambiguous 🙂
That last line – OUCH!
You reeled me in with the imagery – I’m a sucker for imagery! – and kept me there with the dialogue. I could see where an action tag or two might not hurt, but this seems like a swift current of conversation fraught with jagged rapids (some return imagery for you!), and they might snag the forward tumult. Without them, I get the feel of Alyan and Eriden almost frozen in standoff mode, while Bren, who seems to have matters well in hand, lounges like the alpha male of the pack.
And the descriptions of her sexual encounters with both men – not so many words, but the emotions and dynamic were laid bare, just the same.
I need more of this story in my life, please!
And, so I don’t forget, welcome to ROW80 Round 3! =)
Thank you and thank you 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the scene and that the words have been conveying the right dynamics and emotions.
Thank you! It was a great read, and I hope to learn more next week. I am not subtle with my hints! = )
Okay… loved the piece (and loved “This. This is blogging. Yay!”…. good check-in!)
Have to agree with Kathi on the “with intrigue”; seemed a bit over the top to me. Sewerage? neat use of the word…
Would have liked a bit more of a sense of the room before the dialog started up. Maybe, Eriden is looking for a place to feel less conspicuous? Being an assassin, perhaps she’s taking account of the room and seeing if Alyan’s made any changes that could mean danger for her? That would make better sense than saying she was uneasy… if she was looking very carefully for potential dangers.
OK, good point, thanks 🙂
I really like Eriden! I like that she’s snarky right up until the moment where she realises she might be in more trouble than she thought. There seem like some very interesting characters and I’m intrigued to see how Kara deals with them.