Bloodyminded Characters – Wednesday WIPpet

It’s time again for the Wednesday WIPpet. Because it’s the 30th today, I’ve chosen to share a passage out of Chapter 30 of The Legend of the Kings (mainly because I haven’t written chapter 30 of my current WIP yet). The Legend of the Kings is book three in my Heartstone Trilogy. It was intended to be a standalone novel, but the backstory gained a life of it’s own which is why I’ve been writing out of order.

In this scene the capital city has been all but destroyed by dragons who have somehow being working with the Kingdom’s neighbouring enemy, the Rohe. A small group have managed to avoid the fallout until now, but Peter’s actions have given away their location. Instead of working with the group Peter is behaving true to form: (In Megan’s POV).

Not Peter.  Stubborn, and angry; he’d paid cursory attention to anything Roan advised, preferring to poke around the canyon himself.  Now his stupid pride was putting everyone at risk.  She caught his attention and signalled for him to move further up the rock. Whether he didn’t understand her gesturing, or was choosing to ignore it she couldn’t tell, because he stayed right where he was.

Megan was so wild, she almost left him to his fate. But knowing the Rohe could arrive at any moment, she scrabbled down the rock and sprinted towards him. She felt horribly exposed, but she wasn’t about to let Peter’s bloodymindedness ruin everything. Hoping the curve of the canyon would give her a few minutes grace, she leaped onto the rock beneath him and scrambled up until she was close enough to hiss out a warning.

“You need to get higher – they’ll see you.”  She pointed to a crack in the rock.  “There. The shadow – it’s deeper than it looks.”

As she pulled herself up next to him, he refused to look at her – the stubborn set of his jaw confirming her fear; he’d rather die than be obligated to Roan.

“Go yourself.  I’m fine.”

Please Peter.”  She wanted to shake him, but there wasn’t enough time. Fighting to keep her voice soft, she laid a hand on his arm.  “You don’t want to fight them again do you?”

Throwing her hand off, he finally turned – thrusting his face right up into hers.

“Come on Megan.  You don’t really think I fought them last time do you?”

His breath was hot and sour, his contorted features barely recognisable. Recoiling, Megan almost fell off the ledge – just as a sweet sharp whistle echoed down the canyon.

The Rohe were here.

If you want to join the WIPpet fun the rules are: each Wednesday share something from your Work In Progress that relates to the date. As today is the 3oth it could be 30 words, 30 lines, or something from page 30 or chapter 30. You can find the linky here or at K.L. Schwengel’s very cool blog My Random Muse.

Happy Writing!

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11 thoughts on “Bloodyminded Characters – Wednesday WIPpet

  1. Hi, I like analyzing other’s work and just thought I would share my thoughts. Hope you’re not mad. If there is just one thing here you can use, then great. If not, then certainly that’s fine too. At lest you get another perspective. Of course with such a small piece of the story, I may be way off on a lot of this. I don’t think there is anything at all wrong with the work. This is just opinion. It’s cool how you don’t use dialog tags:)

    Not Peter. Stubborn, and angry; he’d paid cursory (I wouldn’t use the word “cursory.” It would be easy to find a simpler, common word.) attention to anything Roan (I’m assuming there is a reason you’re using the names “Roan” and “Rohn.”?)advised, preferring to poke around the canyon himself. Now his stupid pride was putting everyone at risk (It would be easy to make this sentence active, unless you chose passive on purpose.) She caught his attention and signaled for him to move further up the rock. (I may try to show her catching his attention and signaling) Whether he didn’t understand her gesturing, or was choosing to ignore it she couldn’t tell, because he stayed right where he was. (I may shorten this sentence: “Whether he didn’t understand her gesturing or chose to ignore it she couldn’t tell.” I think “because he stayed right where he was,” is implied by him not responding to her gesture.”
    Megan was so wild, she almost left him to his fate. (Unless this has something to do with the story I don’t understand, I may rewrite this sentence: “Megan almost left him to his fate.” Megan being “so wild” is implied and should be shown by her behavior now and during the story. The reader should conclude on her/his own Megan is “so wild.”) But knowing the Rohe could arrive at any moment, she scrabbled (“Scrabbled” is a weird word and you use “scramble” a few sentences down. These two verbs close together may be distracting.)down the rock and sprinted (“ran” may be a better word?) towards him. She felt horribly (I may eliminate this adverb.) exposed, but she (Eliminate “she.”) wasn’t about to let Peter’s bloodymindedness (“Bloodymindedness is a weird word but I guess you have reason for using it.) ruin everything. Hoping the curve (“canyon wall?” maybe?) of the canyon would give her a few minutes grace (“Grace” is an unusual word choice.), she leaped onto the rock beneath him and scrambled up until she was (eliminate “she was.”) close enough to hiss out a warning. (I may rewrite this sentence: Hoping the curve of the canyon would give her a few minutes grace, she leapt onto the rock beneath him. “You need to get higher. They’ll see you…” [The fact Megan is talking to Peter, implies he’s close enough to hear and “to hiss out a warning” is a bit redundant. It’s really just telling how Megan spoke. Just let her talk and try to make it evident she’s “hissing out a warning” in her action and dialog.]) (And I’m not sure why Megan’s dialog is in a separate paragraph. [I guess it may be just the way it copied and pasted in your blog post?] But I think it’s good you have action before dialog.)

    “You need to get higher – they’ll see you.” She pointed to a crack in the rock. “There. The shadow – it’s deeper than it looks.”

    As she pulled herself up next to him, he refused to look at her – the stubborn set of his jaw confirming her fear; he’d rather die than be obligated to Roan. (I may eliminate: “ he’d rather die than be obligated to Roan.” This probably should be evident in Peter’s actions. Or maybe have Peter say: “I would rather die than be obligated to Roan.”)

    “Go yourself. I’m fine.” (Because both Peter and Megan are in the previous paragraph, I’m sort of not sure who said this until reading the next bit of Megan’s dialog. I may shorten this to: Peter refused to look at her. “Go yourself. I’m fine.”

    “Please Peter.” She wanted to shake him, but there wasn’t enough time. Fighting to keep her voice soft, she laid a hand on his arm. “You don’t want to fight them again do you?” (This is good. You have feeling: Fighting to keep her voice soft. Action: she laid a hand on his arm. Speech: “You don’t want to fight them again do you?”)

    Throwing her hand off, he finally turned – thrusting his face right up into hers. (I would pick just one of these actions, preferably, “He threw her hand off.” Then just go right into the dialog. But, like I said above, have the action and dialog in the same paragraph.)

    “Come on Megan. You don’t really think I fought them last time do you?”

    His breath was hot and sour, his contorted features barely recognizable. Recoiling, Megan almost fell off the ledge – just as a sweet (“sweet” is an unusual word choice. And you have “sour” in the same paragraph.) sharp whistle echoed down the canyon.

    The Rohe were here. (Instead of telling us “the Rohe were here,” maybe condition the reader to know what the whistle means, that way we can draw our own conclusions. Even if we don’t know what the sound means, we will be curious. So either way you may not need to tell us.)

    1. Thanks for taking the time to give me such detailed feedback Ben. There is plenty in there to use!

      This novel hasn’t been edited yet (so there is a lot of first draft clunk) – so I’ll tuck your notes away for when I do the first editing pass.

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