By the Light of the Heartstone – Wednesday WIPpet

By gum, it’s Wednesday (yes, yes, in NZ by the crazy placement of the international date line) and time again for the Wednesday WIPpet, where we share something from our Work In Progress. In honour of the 23rd, I’m sharing (about) 23 lines, from page 23 of The Fall of the Kings.

Josiah has had a rough day and has finally found a moment alone:

As always, the pulsating glow of the giant crystal was an immediate balm to my frazzled nerves, and I sagged against the cool stone lintel transfixed once again by the miracle it was.

It was twice the height of a man, with a girth at least three times that again. At night the soft amber glow radiating from its heart could be seen all across the Kingdom.  It was a beacon to the lost, hope in the darkness, and all the more amazing because it was surrounded by a garden full of mature trees that by all reckoning should block the light.  But somehow it was always visible, and I for one had set my course by it more times than I could count.

This view was the one privilege of being Overseer I cherished above all others.  While the Heartstone was freely accessible to all, this was the only room in the Kingdom that looked straight down into its golden heart.  Although I was able to watch all who approached the stone, by a clever quirk of design it was impossible for anyone on the ground to see me.

With every exhalation I felt the burdens of the day ease.  Legend told the One God himself had reached down and laid the Heartstone in Gaelladorn as sign of his blessing and favour. Over the years I’d heard many people give their opinion on what that entailed – although I suspect God’s idea of blessing and favour isn’t the same as our limited human ones.

Stretching out my hand, I curved my fingers so they followed the silhouette of the stone.

Gifted by God and watched over by me. 

I fought back the urge to laugh hysterically.

Well there it is. Josiah is my only character (ever) written in the first person point of view and I’m not sure it will survive the current edit, but for now that’s page 23.

If you’re participating in the Wednesday WIPpet, or want to – here’s the Linky (thanks K.L. Schwengel) – just add your URL so we can all come and see what you’re working on!

16 thoughts on “By the Light of the Heartstone – Wednesday WIPpet

  1. Nice imagery. (BTW, I added you to the linkie.) I’ve toyed with first person, but not in anything heading toward finished. I normally don’t care to read first person, but lately it’s been growing on me. Probably because a lot of the books I’ve recently read used it. For me, it’s way more difficult because I just can’t stay out of everyone else’s head! LOL Very well done. 🙂

    1. Thanks – I’ll grab the Linky off your blog (thanks for doing that). I really doubt I’m going to keep the 1st person. I did read a series where it was told from multiple POVs and one of them was first person. But the more I look at the whole overview of this book – it’s this character’s POV that slows things down. It also feels like a lot of telling here… But hey it’s only a first draft.

      1. I read a book a couple years ago that switched between one character in first person, then another in 2nd. I didn’t care for it at all. It may have been a decent story, but switching between the POV’s just didn’t work for me. I couldn’t seem to find the rhythm. Might be just the way it was handled, too.

  2. Oooh, very nice excerpt! 🙂 Love the atmosphere. My finished MS The Last Queen is written in the 3d person, but my newest Secret WIP is a 1st person POV… We’ll see which one brings me luck! 😉

  3. Scenes like these, when they’re taken out of the story, always give me a sort of creepy feeling. Possibly due to being raised in a roughish area, my first thoughts tends are ones of suspicion: “I wonder if it’s addictive or something? Could it be something deceptive?”

    I’m intrigued. I’d read the book on the merit of this scene alone, if only to find out if my cynical theory is correct. 😉 Very nicely done.

  4. Huh. I don’t think I’ve ever thought of my characters as having interesting thought processes. Nifty angle. BTW, sorry about the typos. I rewrite EVERYTHING and got distracted during rewrite #3 and sent the comment before I quadruple-checked it. :-/

  5. It will be interesting to see whether you decided to keep it in first person. It seems to be working well to me but I’m not an expert; I usually write all my stuff in third person.

    1. I’m really not sure at all – but am in the process of rewriting in 3rd person at the moment (which has really highlighted that this character is not much of a doer). Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I like it. 🙂 Interesting-sounding chap.

    The first time I wrote something in 1st person was the result of a character backing me into a corner and giving me no choice. His story will be told his way or not at all.
    In the long run I’ve found it to be a very useful tool, even for the stories I write in 3rd person.

    1. That’s been the problem with this one I think – although I’ve been trying to squeeze him into 3rd person and he only comes through in 1st. It’s a bit unsettling for me I think…

      By the way I love the picture on your gravitar – that’s exactly how I feel about finding a way to bring the whole story together.

      1. It was unsettling for me, too. 3rd person always felt more natural.

        I will say, though, that your character comes through very well in this 1st-person snippet. I haven’t read any of your other writing, so I have nothing to compare it to yet, but this has good emotional depth, immediacy, and tension.

        🙂 thanks! It’s from a shot I took when I was in college. Silver film, hand-developed and printed and all that fun stuff.

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