As I am going through The Last Storming, I come across scenes which I like for one reason or another, but which I know will be useless in further drafts. They simply don’t forward the story enough. But they were fun to write, so I'm going to share a couple here:
Heron Skye is the rich grandson of Lieshellyk City’s Founder, and Reisoni Klift is a thief living in the bottom of the City, the Corridors. Their relationship is rocky, to say the least. Early on in the story—and for a great deal of its length—the two continue to distrust each other, despite a tremulous bond.
In this scene, Heron’s school friend Finn has met Reise and agreed to do some spying for her. Unfortunately, this is not something he is very good at, although his efforts do provide a curious bit of information which will become important later...
Heron held up one finger as if he were a toddler asking a question.
“Yes?” said Reise.
“Finn found out something else…something strange. I thought maybe you might know the answer.”
“I might if you would cease blathering on and simply tell me.”
“Right. Finn said he spied one of his mother’s guests writing on a notepad. A lot of it was either illegible or words that didn’t make any sense to him. This one intrigued him more than the others and he wrote it down.” Heron dug through a pocket and eventually pulled out a small slip of heavily perfumed paper. Reise thought with an ironic smile that she sometimes knew how to maneuver another person’s pockets than they did themselves.
“What’s with the scent? Trying to vaporize everything good in the world?” She glowered at the offending stationary.
“Finn apologized for that. It was his mother’s and the only paper he could get a hold of at the time. But look at what it says.”
“‘Turq’?” she read. “You’re right, that doesn’t make one lick of sense. I’ve not had any formal education, of course, but I don’t even think that’s a word.”
“That’s what Finn and I said.” Heron replied with some disappointment. “I never said we would make good spies.”
Reise tried to imagine a spy hanging around a suspect for days and collecting all sorts of useless information—such as what type of fish he commonly fed his cat—and believing it all of extreme importance. It was an amusing picture.
“Let’s talk about what we do know, Mister Espionage.” She filled him in on the information she had gleaned from her own observations. Then she explained the operation she had in mind and watched his eyes light up with the sound and feel and taste of it.
“That’s an awfully neat way to…well,” Heron glanced around as if fearing for their privacy. “To do that sort of thing…you know.”
Reise rolled her eyes. “Yes. I know. Trust me, my friend. It’s better than making a mess of it before you even begin. Usually it’s a mess by the end.”
Heron stared at her like she had grown a massive secondary nose.
“What is it?”
“You called me ‘friend’.”
“Don’t get carried away by the flippant speech between two conspiring partners, Bright Eyes.” Reise told him, standing. Heron stood also, like any decent gentlemen. “Our relationship is strictly business.”
“And will remain so, I trust.” Heron added. He was studying her.
She studied him back. “Naturally.”
Of course, these two find out that nothing is that simple when their two worlds—so close and so far apart—collide, with them at the center.
Later, Heron helps some of the Corridor people in a prison break-out. It’s the Point of No Return through which he is shoved from his nice, comfortable world into the mystery of the Stormings and the war of the Corridors.
“Stop.” Over all the noise, one might not have noticed that one forceful word barked from the mouth of a tall, brown haired girl dressed in the strangest assortment of clothing imaginable. Heron, however, was looking for her, and noticed at once. She also held a gun—thankfully one not pointed in his direction—which helped.
No, instead, she was pointing it at the spur who escorted the prisoner.
The spur made as if to reach his gun and the girl kicked out at his knee, causing him to lose his balance. She then struck him in the head with her pistol.
Seconds later, the Corridors girl and the prisoner—an accused arsonist and suspected traitor—vanished into the chaos, into the Corridors, and into oblivion. With his help.
Heron was now, officially, a traitor himself.
On some days, I needed to creatively boost my word count. I decided my city would have a way communication system via vacuum tubes which carry short messages all across the City. I then gave my MCs a cryptic conversation.
This is a good example of what NaNoWriMo can be like:
Reise opened the little curl of paper and read the note.
Might I have a secret name of my own? ~H
Not entirely certain that it was truly Heron, or whether or not she could trust him, Reise’s response was cryptic and she signed with her alias:
So long as you never make it known. ~Lady Kuyn
His response was long in coming and Reise had begun to worry she was addressing the wrong person. The slip that arrived at long last made her chuckle.
I can’t come up with anything good. ~H?
Smiling, Reise adjusted her seat and pecked out a new note on the type set, pulled it off, and fed it into the tube.
It would greatly surprise me if you should. ~LK
Do you have nothing of worth to say? ~H
Yes, and we haven’t go all day. ~LK
Stop that. ~H
You were saying everything in rhyme. ~H
A neat practice, if you’ve the time. ~LK
Stop! Tell me what you want to do. ~H
You informed you wish to come through. ~LK
Through where? ~H
Down there. ~LK
Truly, that’s getting annoying. ~H
You waste time and paper with your toying. ~LK
I, toying? ~H
Indeed. With bothersome worries employing. ~LK
I shall simply ignore it all, then. ~H
Come you to the hall, when? ~LK
You tell me. ~H
Tomorrow’s day in hours three. ~LK
The rapid fire messages paused.
Then we’re understood. ~H
And that is very good. ~LK
Reise had to admit to herself that she was enjoying the word play too much.
^ I can still smile at the absurdity of the whole thing.
Let's finish with the news:
I've gone back and written an acceptable beginning—though I still don't like it very much. Meanwhile, ideas for this year's Project, The Turq Wars, have been slowly accumulating. There are still major sections of TLS which simply do not exist, however—due to skipping over them in November. I'm making progress, but it's a tough and sticky trek.