Suffering in Silence – WIPpet Wednesday

Today I felt like licking my wounds and curling up in the fetal position; an hour or so in the dentist’s chair will do that to a girl. But when you’re a Mum, even if you’re feeling fragile, you just have to suck it up and get on with it. At least I was feeling sympathetic towards some of my more vulnerable characters.

In this kindly spirit I’ve chosen two of my long-suffering characters to star in today’s WIPpet, once again from The Legend of the Kings.

Aiden and Callum have had a very abrupt sort of meeting in Cannondale which resulted in Callum taking Aiden back to Aradawn, the family sheep station. Callum is a man of few words (this passage is quite chatty for Callum) and Aiden isn’t really sure why Callum appears to be helping him. Despite the somewhat touchy subject matter, this conversation marks a positive turn of events for both characters.

In fine WIPpet tradition, I give you 7 paragraphs (5 for the date + 2 for the second month):

They travelled in silence until they lost sight of Cannondale.

“You’re not just another religious freak – you meant what you said about Daniel Fells.” Callum spoke matter of factly, his gaze fixed firmly on the road ahead.

“I don’t think he killed Josiah, if that’s what you mean.”

Callum didn’t respond, but his shoulders relaxed slightly. Taking this as a good sign Aiden plowed on. “There was a note in the archive saying Daniel Fells disappeared two days before the storm. If that’s true he would’ve had to ride hard to reach the Fulton River Ford by the night the storm struck. The Upland Road’s bad enough now, I don’t imagine it was any easier going back then. Apparently the family insisted Daniel was innocent and argued for an investigation.”

“But they didn’t believe them.” There was a hard vein of bitterness in Callum’s voice.

“No. But they should have. It was weeks before the family found his body. It seems to me his behaviour was so out of character the family didn’t think he’d be anywhere near the Fulton River.” He looked over at Callum who was holding the reins in a death grip.

“Your family name wasn’t always Fraser was it?”

Hmm, what do you think?

Many thanks to Kathi Schwengel for hosting WIPpet Wednesday. It’s a great way to share those early drafts, and meet some really great (and encouraging) writers. If you want to join us, just post your own WIPpet and head over to this linky.

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, Kathi also interviewed me over on her blog last week. Check it out here – it was a lot of fun! I think I may have been the worst person ever at the lightning round… It’s a bad habit from my lawyering days – always trying to clarify… *sighs*

Happy writing!

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25 thoughts on “Suffering in Silence – WIPpet Wednesday

  1. Very natural and flowing dialog and I love the last line you leave us with. Nicely done, leading us on…

    I’m never having a lightning round with WIPpeteers in the room again. *sigh* Verbosity extreme.

  2. That’s a really fascinating conversation. Interesting that you say it’s a turning point for them. It’s definitely clear that they’re reaching some kind of understanding between them through this dialogue.

    1. Some kind of understanding is right. I wonder if Callum knows why he picked Aiden up at all – it’s very out of character. And his internal struggle really makes itself felt. Right now he’s being almost friendly.

  3. I was thinking the same thing as Krista while reading this – fabulous place names! It’s an intriguing conversation and comes across very naturally. I like the hint at how Callum’s having difficulty controlling his emotions.

    I loved your WIPterview and your not-really-a-lightning round made me laugh – I’m surprised poor Kathi didn’t explode with frustration!

  4. Oh, dear. I do understand the trauma of the dentist’s chair! And the need to plod along since children do not care about such trauma!

    Love the excerpt – Callum is my kind of character, a man of unspoken thoughts and few words. Nice job!

    1. Children really don’t, past: ‘poor Mum *pats shoulder* what’s for afternoon tea…’ Ah well we can still feel quietly hard done by.

      I enjoy Callum too – I’ll have to include more WIPpets with him and Aiden. I remember writing this great scene where Aiden and Callum rode out to the Boundary. They didn’t say anything. Then they rode back. (Can you tell it was a NaNo draft… no sparkling or plot enhancing conversation at all). Funnily enough it was culled during the post-NaNo read-over…

  5. Heh… I can’t sympathize about the dentist, because I’ve only had like one cavity, and that was when I was seven. Other than that, my dental ins covers two routine cleanings a year, so that’s all me and the hubby go in for. The dental hygienist loves talking to us, so the dentist is actually a fun and conversational experience (one of us talks to her while the other sits in the chair.)

    Ohhh, of COURSE you had to leave the dialogue there, didn’t you? *mumbles* Well that means you did a good job, because my interest was caught and… I must admit, I read Fraser as Frasier, so I immediately thought of the show “Frasier.” And I sure hope Aiden doesn’t come from that family line!

    1. As a rule dentists are pretty good these days – and like your hygienist, ours is perfectly nice. Sadly a broken tooth takes a long time to repair and prep for a crown and my mouth still hurts… Still not as badly as yesterday.

      And noone is even vaguely of the Frasier ilk… although the mental picture was good!

  6. I’m too familiar with those “hour plus” trips to the dentist (I have 11 crowns in my mouth and one tooth waiting for one). You have my sympathy, Raewyn,

    I love the multiple levels you’ve used in this piece of dialogue. Not just the words, but the dialogue of their expressions and bodies.

  7. Raewyn,

    I wanted to comment days ago, but my computer was balky (turns out I needed to update my browser).

    My dentist and his hygienist were long married, and they would chat over and with me as they worked. Also, they always put me in the room with a lovely painting of two children silhouetted against a sunset ocean. It had been painted by one of their five children.

    Last year, my dentist died suddenly. I loved him so much, that, despite a broken tooth and a few others that need tending, I really can’t bring myself to choose another…I know I’ll have to, sooner or later, but..

    On the kids front, I can say with confidence that it can get better as they get older. When I’m not feeling so well, these days, they find little ways to take care of me. No, the house doesn’t stay tidy, and I’ve yet to find a way to help them channel their exuberance and volume when I have a migraine…

    Glad I’m not the only one who botched the lightning round – I tried. I really did. Honest!

    I love this snippet, and the way you capture those small body language cues. And that Aiden finally has something that might approximate an ally….

    May you heal quickly! =)

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your story – your dentist (and his wife) sound lovely and I can see why you’re dragging your feet to change. Although I can understand – I go to a tea shop owned by a couple with two young children (who were always in the shop) who changed my life about how to brew and appreciate tea. Sadly just before Christmas the father also died suddenly. I was so sad I didn’t even want to drink the tea (but will because his wife has just reopened the shop).

      And as for the lightning round – I think Kathi should call us lightning storm… LOL.

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