*MS Excerpt* WIPpet Wednesday – 12.07.17

WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn where we share a little sneak peak of our WIP. The only rule is that is must somehow relate to the date, and even that rule is easily bent. 🙂

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OMG, two weeks in a row! Crazy, right?

I spent all this afternoon outlining the second half of Arrowsong (I did try to outline the whole thing before I began rewrites but perhaps I’m always destined to be a panster-plotter hybrid) and I came across this scene which I love so much. Obviously, without all the context I don’t know how much will come across but I really wanted to share it with you guys because I love these characters so much that I almost feel guilty for all the crap I put them through. It relates to the date (12th July) because, according to the Scrivener time stamp, I wrote/last edited it in December last year.

A question rose to Anjez’s lips and it was out before he could think to stop it. “What do you fear more? Your father dying or having to sit on his throne and call yourself queen?”
Kara pulled back and there was something like fear in her eyes when she looked at him from underneath pinched brows. She pulled her knees to her chin again and looked away, picking at a loose thread on the frayed edge of her tunic. She pursed her lips. “I…don’t know,” she confessed. “I was never meant to rule. That was Bry’s place, and since he died I’ve had so much else to juggle.”
“Do you want to be queen?” He held his breath as he waited for her answer. He’d asked himself the same question over and over again since he’d returned to the viper’s nest that was the Bashraani court. Did he want to be king? Could he be king? His father had ignored him and his sister, Semaera, since their return. And he barely spoke to their mother, even though she was his Chief Wife, so if he wanted the throne, he would have to fight for it. Climb over the broken bodies of his brothers for it. And the gods knew, he couldn’t decide whether he wanted to be king or to ride away to the plains and fade into obscurity.

Reader participation section: did it make sense when after Anjez asks if Kara wants to be queen, it says he’d asked himself the same question? In the in-world context, there is no lexical distinction between king and queen but I feel in English it comes across a little oddly?

On a scale of 1 to Would Fight an Angry Bear for Them how emotionally attached do you get to your characters?

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13 thoughts on “*MS Excerpt* WIPpet Wednesday – 12.07.17

  1. D.K. Wilson says:

    I have to say that I don’t get really attached to my characters. Will I miss them when I finish the book/series? Of course. But would I have trouble killing them off? Probably not.

    I really loved the excerpt, too! It had some feeling to it that made me intrigued to know more about the story!

  2. jlgfellers says:

    I’m really attached to my characters when I’m writing their stories, but the attachment fades after the novel/series is finished, though it admittedly takes a while. Working with a new set of characters speeds the process along.

    The rule idea negates the queen/king issue– I’d run with it.

  3. Fallon says:

    At first I thought he’d been asking himself if she wanted to be queen, but I figured out the context with the rest of the sentence.

    I get so attached to my characters. Maybe not fight an angry bear(I’m so a coward), but there’s a reason I can’t seem to write a standalone novel to save my life. And older characters keep popping up in newer novels so we can see how they’re doing. 🙂

    • Ríona O'Inabha says:

      I love it when old characters appear in the background of an author’s later works. It makes the setting feel more like a world into which each book is a single window, rather than disjointed spaces if that makes any sense?

  4. debbiemcgowan says:

    I didn’t have a problem with the wording ‘asking himself the same question’ as it goes on to contextualise, but yes, like others have said, ‘ruler’ is a good gender-neutral alternative.

    I’m totally attached to my characters, forever, so bring on the angry bear! 😀

    I love this snippet. I don’t think he should have any qualms fighting for the throne (if he does indeed want it), seeing as his parents are so ignorant. Poor Kara…looks like she’s really struggling. I wonder how she’ll answer.

  5. AM says:

    I thought it made sense as written, but what others have said about using “ruler” makes sense too.

    I don’t get too attached to my characters, but the one I *did* feel that way about insisted on being allowed to die. And he was a little bit of a drama queen about it, too. But it was right, and in the end, I was glad he’d asked me to let him go.

    Good snippet here. Anjez feels very compassionate, the way he talks about the “broken bodies of his brothers.” Sounds like he’d have a hard time fighting for his place as king for that reason.

  6. Sophie Li says:

    Hello!
    I think it makes sense when Anjez asks himself if he wants to be king. I can see where it can be confusing if people were to jump straight to this scene, but I imagine that earlier on in your story, it will be revealed that king and queen are both rulers, so readers would have that context.
    Nice snippet, by the way 🙂
    I am super attached to my characters. I think about them day and night!

    Cheers,
    Sophie

  7. Emily Wrayburn says:

    I think when I was writing A More Complicated Fairytale I was on “Fight an angry bear”‘ level with Cait and Felipe, though that has faded with time as I’ve had less to do with those characters. I’m not quite at angry bear level with Max and Clara, though I am obviously still quite attached to them.

    I agree with Fallon – at first I thought it meant he’d been asking himself if Kara wanted to be queen, but then I realised as I read. But maybe rule/ruler would be a good alternative, just to avoid pulling anyone out the story.

    I really like the glimpse into Anjez’ head and the dilemma he’s faced with. He’d have to be very certain he wanted it to go through all that.

  8. ceeleeolson says:

    Like the others, I think it’s a bit confusing until you get to the part about him asking himself if he wants to be king. So I would probably change it so it’s a little clearer, personally. Other than that it’s a great scene! I’m very intrigued and I look forward to reading more.

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